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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

Is Ted Cruz Eligible to Be President? Letís Find Out

Daniel P. Tokaji

Donald Trump has revived the question whether Senator Ted Cruz is ineligible to serve as President due to his birth in Canada. The issue cries out for judicial resolution, but there are constitutional and prudential obstacles to a federal court deciding it.  This comment argues that the most promising avenue  is a state court lawsuit challenging Senator Cruz’s eligibility and seeking his removal from the primary ballot. There’s at least one state – Pennsylvania – where the deadline for filing hasn’t yet expired, but if skeptics of Cruz’s eligibility want to sue there they must act quickly, no later than Tuesday. Litigating the case through state court would tee up the issue for Supreme Court review, which would be helpful in resolving the recurrent question of what it means to be a “natural born Citizen."

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In the News

Daniel P. Tokaji

An Obscure Ohio State Law Could Shake Up the Republican Convention

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in an ABC News article about the Republican Convention:

“It’s entirely imaginable that these kind of controversies will emerge if Donald Trump goes into Cleveland without 1,237,” said Dan Tokaji, an expert in election law at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, referring the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination. “There’s going to be a furious jockeying for these delegates.”

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Info & Analysis

U.S. District Judge Rules for Plaintiffs in Ohio Early Voting Case

Today, U.S. District Judge Michael Watson issued Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in an Ohio early voting case, determining that Ohio\'s reduction of in-person early voting days violated Equal Protection and the Voting Rights Act. Judge Watson dismissed additional claims brought by the plaintiffs. A bench trial was held in late 2015. The case is Ohio Organizing Collaborative v. Husted.

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