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Election Law @ Moritz



In re 2016 Primary Election

Case Information

Date Filed: March 15, 2016
State: Ohio
Issue: Polling Place Notices
Courts that Heard this Case: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Case 1:16-mc-00005-TSB); Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Case 16-03350, 16-03352, and 16-03357)


(1) Whether a federal court has jurisdiction to order state elections officials to extend polling hours or re-open polls with no complaint filed, no identified plaintiff, no federal cause of action or basis for federal jurisdiction identified, and no state action at issue.

(2) Whether a federal court may grant relief without identifying any state action that constituted a violation of law to be remedied.

(3) Whether a federal court may grant relief with no process preceding the decision, specifically, (a) no filed complaint or motion, (b) no advance notice to Defendant Ohio Secretary of State or affected County Boards of Elections; and (c) none of the prerequisites of Fed. R. Civ. P. 65 satisfied, such as the notice under Rule 65(a), requirements to forgo notice under Rule 65(b)(1), or a stated basis for the lack of notice under Rule 65(b)(2).

(4) Whether a federal court may order polls to be kept open in an order issued after closing time was reached, in light of this Court's and the Supreme Court's repeated admonishments discouraging such last-minute orders, and in light of the impossibility of contacting hundreds of polling locations that were already closing before the order issued.


Order issued 3/15/16. Notices of Appeal filed 4/11/16. Order directing clerk to appoint counsel to defend District Court order filed 5/2/16. Appearance entered by attorney Rachel Bloomekatz to defend District Court order 5/11/16. Appellants' Brief filed 6/23/16. Appointed Counsel Brief filed 7/14/16. Opinion and Order Vacating Preliminary Injunction filed 9/6/16.

District Court Documents

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals



Edward B. Foley

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Progress in the detection of malignant redistricting.

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In the News

Edward B. Foley

Ranked-choice voting: A better way or chaos?

Professor Edward Foley’s book, “Ballot Battles: The History of Disputed Elections in the United States” was quoted in The Ellsworth American, in an article about ranked-choice voting in Maine.

Plurality language was added to Maine’s Constitution in 1880 after none of the candidates for governor in the election of 1879 received a majority vote.

“After this ordeal, the state eliminated the requirement that a gubernatorial candidate win a majority in order to win the office outright; instead, a plurality would suffice,” Foley writes.

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Info & Analysis

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Texas\' Request for Stay in Redistricting Case

In two 5-4 votes, the U.S. Supreme Court granted stays in a Texas redistricting case involving Congressional and state house questions, putting on hold the district court\'s orders for the Texas legislature to redraw certain district lines. The stays will be in place until the Supreme Court rules on Texas\' appeal, likely next year. The case is Perez v. Abbott.

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