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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

Election Law @ Moritz is 10 Years Old!

Back in 2004, those of us who worked on election law here at Ohio State realized that Ohio might play a pivotal role in the upcoming presidential election. (It did, but for the sake of the nation not as pivotally as it might have.) We also knew that 2004 would be the first presidential election after passage of the Help America Vote Act, with all its new rules on voter registration databases, voter identification, and provisional ballots. We thought it might be useful if, as a team, we tried to get up to speed on the new terrain of “election administration law,” which had been a sleepy field in terms of scholarship before 2000. We had a sense that teamwork would enable us to produce various forms of useful scholarship that we could not accomplish working separately.

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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

Supreme Court of Kansas Orders Taylor's Name to be Removed from U.S. Senate Ballot

In an opinion issued yesterday, the Supreme Court of Kansas ordered Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to remove Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Chad Taylor from the ballot for the general election. Removing Taylor leaves Republican incumbent Pat Roberts and independent candidate Greg Orman on the ballot. Taylor requested his removal earlier this month. The case is Taylor v. Kobach.

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