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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Information & Analysis

March, 2008

Below are postings from March, 2008. (See Archives | Recent Headlines)

Judge Strikes Down Michigan Primary Record Law

Mar. 28 -

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds struck down a Michigan law that allowed only the Republican and Democratic parties access to voter information from the state's presidential primary. The ruling came down on Wednesday (3/28) in Green Party of Michigan v. Michigan Secretary of State (See the EL@M case page).

Florida Registration Deadline Upheld

Mar. 25 -

Today a federal court upheld a Florida law that requires voters to submit a completed voter registration application at least 29 days prior to Election Day (case page). Plaintiffs had argued that voters who submit incomplete applications prior to the deadline should be given the opportunity to correct those applications after the deadline and that officials should then process the completed applications in time for the election.

Ohio Post-Election Audit Pilot Program

Mar. 25 -

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has developed a voluntary pilot program under which participating boards of election will conduct manual recounts of 7% of precincts. One county has already indicated its intent to participate.

GOP Files Brief with Supreme Court

Mar. 24 -

The Summit County Republican Party filed it's merit brief with the Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday (3/19) in Summit County Republican Party Executive Committee v. Brunner (See EL@M Case Page). In it's brief the GOP is claiming that the Supreme Court has never decided a case involving a secretary of state soliciting negative information on a local party's recommended elections board appointee from the opposing party.

Cuyahoga Will Use Notice Technology in November

Mar. 24 -

Ohio's largest county has resolved to adopt in time for November a voting system that will notify voters of under- and over-votes and allow for correction. This may help resolve ACLU of Ohio v. Brunner, where the ACLU sued to prevent the use of non-notice technology in the March 4 primary and subsequent elections (disclosure).

Cuyahoga Investigates Crossover Voters

Mar. 21 -

The Board of Elections of Ohio's largest county is conducting an investigation of individuals who historically voted Republican but voted Democrat in the March 4 primary. The Board believes that many such voters acted insincerely and in violation of state criminal provisions.

Ohio Ballot Tampering Investigation

Mar. 20 - Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann is investigating allegations of vote-tampering arising from an election occurring last year in Franklin County, where Columbus is located. It appears that failure to follow proper security procedures may have made it impossible to determine what really happened.

Polls Places Open On Time

Mar. 4 - All polling places in Franklin County opened on time this morning. It was reported that one polling place in Cuyahoga County, in suburban Richmond Heights, had trouble opening this morning.

Provisional Ballots in Jefferson County

Mar. 4 - A Franklin County Common Pleas court, acting upon a complaint filed by the Ohio Secretary of State, has issued an order permitting Jefferson County residents to vote by provisional ballot at the County Board of Elections. The court action was prompted by concerns about the relocation and closing of polling places caused by flooding. Read the Complaint and Order here.

Few Problems Reported So Far

Mar. 4 - Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Director has indicated that all County polling places opened on time this morning. The Director further indicated that voting appears to be going well, with no substantial problems being reported.

UPDATE: The Secretary of State's Office is reporting only minor voting glitches across Ohio.

Texas County Low on Democratic Ballots

Mar. 4 - Democratic ballots are running low in certain precincts in Williamson County. If precincts run out paper ballots completely, voters will be directed to use electronic voting machines, which, according to Elections Administrator Rick Barron, could mean long lines later today.

Democratic Campaigns Allege Irregularities in Ohio

Mar. 4 - The campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are complaining about alleged problems at polling places in Ohio. Some of the complaints concern election administration issues such as ballot procedures and voter identification, while others are directed specifically at the conduct of the opposition.

Officials Claim Partisan Ballot Pickup in Cuyahoga

Mar. 4 - GOP officials are claiming ballot pickups at some Cuyahoga County precincts are being conducted only by democrats, in violation of the Secretary of State's directive.

Polls Held Open; Precincts Out of Ballots: No Results Before 9 p.m.

Mar. 4 - Ohio SoS Jennifer Brunner ordered that Sandusky polling sites remain open until 9 p.m. because of a lack of Democratic ballots. As part of the order, Brunner also ordered that no Ohio county release any results prior to 9 p.m. There are also reports of a lack of ballots in Hamilton County and Election Law@Moritz staff reports possible problems with running out of ballots in Cuyahoga County.

Cross-Over Voting Under Ohio Law

Mar. 4 - Election Law@Moritz Director Edward B. Foley has posted a blog entry analyzing the legality of cross-over voting in Ohio.

Some Cuyahoga County Polls Ordered Open Until 9 p.m.

Mar. 4 - Election Law@Moritz staff in Cuyahoga County and the Dispatch report that 15 Cuyahoga County precincts in 4 polling places will remain open until 9 p.m. The order came from a Judge Solomon Oliver after a request from the Obama campaign. Update at 8:45 - There are 21 precincts open until 9 p.m.

Vote Stealing Allegations in Houston

Mar. 4 - There are reports of potential voting fraud in southeast Houston. Some voters were turned away because absentee ballots were already cast in the voters name.

More On Extended Cuyahoga Voting Hours

Mar. 4 - EL@M has obtained the court order extending polling hours at twenty-one Cuyahoga polling places (case page).

Last-Minute Changes in Ohio Election Leadership

Mar. 2 - The Columbus Dispatch reports that Franklin County, where Columbus is located, has replaced its Republican elections director with a Democrat on the eve of Tuesday's election. The old director, Matt Damschroder, was removed for allegedly assisting forces opposed to the Secretary of State's plan to force a system of paper ballot voting throughout the entire state.

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.

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

Tokaji and Strause release The New Soft Money: Outside Spending in Congressional Elections

Dan Tokaji and Renata Strause will release their report on independent spending, entitled The New Soft Money: Outside Spending in Congressional Elections on Wednesday, June 18.  The report includes interviews with former Members of Congress, such as Senators George Allen, Kent Conrad, and Ben Nelson, and Representatives Mark Critz, Tim Holden, Steve LaTourette, and Joe Walsh, as well as recent congressional candidates, campaign staff, political operatives, legislative staff, and representatives of outside groups. See here for details.

more info & analysis...