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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Litigation

Diaz v. Hood

Case Information

Date Filed / Ended: October 12, 2004 / September 28, 2005
State: Florida
Issue: Voter Registration
Courts that Heard this Case: U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida (Case 04-22572); 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (Case 04-15539)

Issue:

Whether disenfranchisement based on the failure to provide information as to voter eligibility violates voters' Equal Protection rights when voters sign a general oath stating that they are eligible to vote under applicable state law.

Status:

Counts I, II, VI and VII dismissed, all counts against Secretary of State for conduct in 2004 dismissed. Discovery due by 10/3/2007; Motions due by 10/8/2007; Pretrial Stipulation due by 11/30/2007; Trial set for 2/4/08. Final Judgment for defendant on 3/25/08.

Case Summary

In this case, several Florida voters sought injunctive relief requiring the names of individuals who submitted incomplete registration applications to be added to the list of voters registered for the November, 2004 election. Voters in Florida are required to check several boxes when registering to vote; such boxes include information regarding citizenship, mental competency and whether the applicant is a felon. In this case, several applicants were denied their right to vote due to the failure to mark these boxes, although they signed a statement stating that they were eligible to vote under Florida law. Plaintiffs allege that these are non-material omissions, they were not notified of the error, and they were not given a chance to remedy the error. The Court originally dismissed this action as the unions did not identify any specific union members who were injured, and there was evidence that individual Plaintiffs were notified of the error and at least one corrected the same and was eligible to vote. However, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Plaintiffs did have standing and have allowed for the filing of a new Complaint.

11th Circuit Court of Appeals

Related Links

Commentary

Daniel P. Tokaji

An Ominous Supreme Court Decision

Daniel P. Tokaji

Anyone who cares about the right to vote should be very concerned by yesterday’s 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Husted v. NAACP . The one-paragraph stay order effectively stops same day registration in Ohio, which was to start today, and reduces the early voting period. The evidence showed that these voting opportunities were heavily used by African American and poor voters, who will be disproportionately burdened by the cuts. Even more disconcerting, however, are the implications of yesterday’s decision for the future of the right to vote.

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In the News

Daniel P. Tokaji

Scott Walker case shows growing closeness between politicians and wealthy allies

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article in The Washington Post about an investigation into allegations Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker illegally coordinated fundraising efforts with outside conservative groups during his campaign. State and federal laws restrict candidates from sharing political strategy with outside organizations. Tokaji noted, however, it is sometimes difficult, based on the current laws, to prove what is coordination and what is simply cooperation between the parties.

“They are trying to do as much as they can to cooperate without illegally coordinating — which, in truth, is not that difficult to do, because the line for what counts as coordination is a particularly high bar,” he said.

 

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Info & Analysis

Fourth Circuit Issues Opinion in North Carolina Case, Blocking Part of New Voting Law

Today the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued an opinion blocking some of the recently enacted changes to North Carolina voting law including the elimination of same day voter registration. The case is North Carolina NAACP v. McCrory.

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