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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz

Information & Analysis

December, 2006

Below are postings from December, 2006. (See Archives | Recent Headlines)

FL-13: The Fight Over Source Code

Dec. 23 - The Gainesville Sun reports here on dueling filings in the Florida 13th CD litigation, over access to the ES&S voting machines' source code. Prior filings in the case, including Jennings' discovery motion, may be found here on the Sarasota Herald-Tribune's site. Today's Herald-Tribune also has this story on incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's refusal to rule out the possibility of seating Jennings, and this one on the possibility of the Florida legislature revisiting voting issues when it convenes in March.

Republican Concedes in Pennsylvania Race

Dec. 22 - Republican Shannon Royer conceded yesterday in Pennsylvania's General Assembly race for the 156th Legislative District. According to reports, the final recount gave the victory to Democrat Barbara McIlvane Smith, 11,616 votes to Royer's 11,588, and Democrats control of Pennylvania's House.

Recount Results Certified in Vermont

Dec. 22 - Yesterday, the results in Vermont's State Auditor race were certified by Washington Superior Court Judge Mary Miles Teachout, giving Democrat Thomas M. Salmon the victory by 102 votes. The AP is reporting that a number of votes intended to be cast for Salmon were improperly attributed to Liberty Union candidate Jerry Levy in the original count; the recount was able to correct this error, and overturn the original election results.

Pennsylvania Hand Recount Concluded

Dec. 21 - It is being reported this morning that the hand recount in Chester County has been concluded, and unofficial results indicate Democrat Barbara McIlvaine Smith is ahead by 27 votes. A hearing is scheduled this morning to hear challenges to 12 votes, while officials are still attempting to locate 12 missing ballots.

FL-13: Complaint Filed in Congress

Dec. 21 - The Orlando Sentinel reports that, as expected, Christine Jennings has filed a formal appeal in Congress to contest the result of Floridaís 13th District race. Meanwhile, back in state court, Dartmouthís Michael Herron testified on behalf of ES&S, the company that manufactured the districtís voting machines and that opposes the Jennings campís efforts to examine the source code of those machines. According to Mr. Herron, the districtís undervote was likely caused by the ballotís confusing design, not by flaws in the ES&S code (see also Tallahassee.com). The Herald Tribune reports that a decision on the source code issue is not expected until Friday at the earliest.

Appeal of Hand Recount Denied in Pennsylvania

Dec. 19 - A Pennsylvania Judge yesterday denied the Democrats' appeal to stop the hand recount of votes in the 156th Legislative District Race. As reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Democrats were concerned with the amount of time that a hand recount would take and the possibility that such a recount would not be completed by the time the State Legislature reconvenes; in response to this concern, a deadline has been set for 5:00 P.M. on December 26 to complete the hand recount.

Vermont State Auditor Unofficial Recount Results In

Dec. 19 - After having initially lost the election by 137 votes, unofficial recount results in the Vermont State Auditor race are now indicating that Democrat Thomas M. Salmon has defeated Incumbent Randy Brock by 104 votes. However, it is being reported that the earliest Washington County Superior Court Judge Mary Miles Teachout will be available to certify the recount will be Thursday.

Election Reform's Top Priority: Changing the Electoral College Calendar

Dec. 19 -

5-State Voting Digest

Dec. 15 - The EL@M team has produced this five-state overview of November voting issues in Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

FL-13: State Withdraws Dismiss Motion

Dec. 15 - The Associated Press reports that state officials have withdrawn a motion to dismiss filed in the Florida election contest litigation. EL@M is obtaining documents.

OH-15: Hand Recount Yields No Change

Dec. 8 - The Columbus Dispatch reports that the 10% hand recount conducted in Ohio's 15th Congressional District left unchanged Pryce's (R) 1,055-vote lead over Kilroy (D). Officials intend to conduct the remainder of the recount electronically. A suit to obtain the identities of voters who cast provisional ballots in the district is ongoing.

FL-13 Update: 12/05/06

Dec. 5 - The next phase of the Florida state audit of the race for the 13th congressional district is to analyze the voting machine source codes. Meanwhile, one analysis has concluded that the disproportionate number of undervotes in this race is likely the result of a ballot design problem.

FL-13 Update - 12/4/06

Dec. 4 - The state audit of the voting machines continues but so far has provided little evidence of widespread machine failure, while Jennings amends her complaint to add ES&S as a defendant.


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.

more commentary...

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.

more EL@M in the news...

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.

more info & analysis...