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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

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Commentary

In the News

David  Stebenne

Can Kasich win all 88 Ohio counties?

Professor David Stebenne was quoted in an Ohio Watchdog article about the possibility of Governor John Kasich winning all 88 Ohio counties in his re-election bid.

“It’s really hard to do,” he said. “As popular as the governor is and as weak as his opponent is, I doubt he’ll carry all 88 (counties).”

Stebenne said Ohio has some unusual counties, which tend to be really Democratic or really Republican.

He said a good example was the election of 1956, when President Dwight Eisenhower carried 87 of 88 Ohio counties.

“He lost one of the Appalachian counties — a poor county where the residents tend to vote Democratic no matter what,” Stebenne said. “There was even some humorous discussion in the Oval Office about that one county.”

Glenn and Voinovich were “the two most popular candidates in modern history,” he added, “and they each only did it once. While Kasich is popular, he really doesn’t have the broad appeal that these two did.”

Stebenne said that both Voinovich and Kasich come from communities that tend to be more Democratic in voter registration, but that Kasich’s first race for governor was more divisive than the races for Voinovich.

“Voinovich had electoral success in Cleveland and as governor because he was able to persuade Democrats to vote Republican,” he said. “Glenn had national appeal across party lines.”

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Info & Analysis

10th Circuit Reverses District Court on KS and AZ Proof of Citizenship Requirement

The Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued an opinion today in Kobach v. EAC, rejecting the proof of citizenship requirement imposed by Kansas and Arizona in the voter registration process.

more info & analysis...