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Election Law @ Moritz Home Page

Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Information & Analysis

Minnesota Recount Procedure

We have already reported that Minnesota’s gubernatorial election should be considered green based on our current information, which includes our recent report that only 3,000 absentee ballots were rejected this year, far different from the 12,000 ballots rejected in the 2008 Senate race. The gubernatorial race is still very close, with vote counts indicating that Tom Emmer has 43.21% (910,437 ) of the vote and Mark Dayton with 43.63% (919,212) votes. In fact, some reports indicate that after the votes are reviewed by the state canvassing board on the 23rd of November, there is the possibility the candidates could request a recount or contest the election.

Minnesota has broad recount and contest statutes. The first step, an automatic recount by state officials, is triggered when the margin of victory is less than .5% of the total votes cast for the office. MSA § 204C.35. However, if an automatic recount is not triggered, then a candidate for any statewide office, like Governor, may request a recount. MSA § 204C.35. This type of recount would have to be petitioned within seven days after the canvass is completed and is paid for by the candidate. Id. The final step, contesting the election, is authorized by statute. MSA § 209.02. If there is an ongoing recount, then a contest petition does not have to filed until the recount results are certified; but if there is no recount ongoing then the petition must be filed within ten days of certification. MSA § 204C.35, 204C.36.

 

 

Commentary

Edward B. Foley

Of Bouncing Balls and a Big Blue Shift

Edward B. Foley

It is a fortuitous coincidence that the University of Virginia’s Journal of Law & Politics has just published a piece of mine that shows the relevance of the current vote-counting process in Virginia’s Attorney General election to what might happen if the 2016 presidential election turns on a similar vote-counting process in Virginia. 

Read full post here.

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In the News

Daniel P. Tokaji

Ohio treasurer receives OK to host town halls

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article from the Associated Press about an attorney general opinion that allows the Ohio treasurer to conduct telephone town halls using public money. The opinion will likely have broad ramifications for the upcoming elections, Tokaji said.

“As a practical matter, while that legal advice is certainly right, very serious concerns can arise about whether these are really intended to inform Ohio constituents about the operations of his office or if they’re campaign events,” he said.

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Info & Analysis

Judge Denies Motion for Preliminary Injunction in NC Case

U.S. District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder denied the motion for a preliminary injunction sought by the plaintiffs in a case challenging a new North Carolina voting law as violating the Voting Rights Act and the federal Constitution. Judge Schroeder also denied the defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings. The case is North Carolina NAACP v. McCrory.

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