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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Information & Analysis

Winner Declared in 2010 Ohio Judicial Election

Late Friday, Hamilton County Board of Elections officials completed their counting of approximately 300 disputed provisional ballots in a 2010 juvenile court judge election. The board's count resulted in a 71-vote victory for Democratic candidate Tracie Hunter, who had initially lost the election by 23 votes to Republican John Williams. In February, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Dlott ordered the board to count the disputed ballots, finding that the board violated provisional voters' right to equal protection. The dispute centered on provisional ballots cast in the correct polling place, but at the wrong precinct table. Judge Dlott found that the board should have counted certain provisional ballots miscast due to poll worker error. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to stay the district court's order, triggering the counting of the provisional ballots. An automatic recount will begin May 7. An additional appeal to the Sixth Circuit appears likely to follow.

Further complicating matters is the mandamus action recently filed in the Ohio Supreme Court by two Ohio Republican legislators. The relators seek an order for the Secretary of State to rescind directives issued pursuant to a consent decree in the federal NEOCH v. Brunner case. The directives permit provisional ballots to be counted even if cast in the wrong precinct or if signature requirements are not fully complied with because of poll worker error.

Commentary

Daniel P. Tokaji

What's the Matter with Kobach?

Daniel P. Tokaji

By "Kobach," I mean the Kobach v. EAC case in which the Tenth Circuit heard oral argument Monday – rather than its lead plaintiff, Kansas’ controversial Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who argued the position of his state and the State of Arizona. This post discusses what’s at issue in the case, where the district court went wrong, and what the Tenth Circuit should do.

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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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