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Election Law @ Moritz

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Litigation

State ex rel. Myles v. Brunner

Case Information

Date Filed: September 17, 2008
State: Ohio
Issue: Absentee Ballots
Courts that Heard this Case: Ohio Supreme Court (Case 2008-1842 )

Issue:

Whether the Ohio Secretary of State's memorandum, which directs boards of elections to reject absentee ballot applications that do not indicate that the applicants are qualified voters, violates state law.  The applications in question were provided by Senator John McCain's presidential campaign.  The applications contained a box where applicants could indicate that they were qualified voters.  Secretary of State Brunner, in her memorandum, expressed the opinion that failure to check this box should result in the application being rejected.

DISCLOSURE

Status:

Complaint in mandamus filed on 9/17/08.  The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in this case on 10/2/08 and ordered that the absentee ballots be counted. 

Analysis: Ohio "Check-Box" Lawsuit

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Commentary

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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

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

Seventh Circuit Issues Opinions Regarding Stay in Wisconsin Voter ID Case

A divided Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued opinions today on its denial of a motion for reconsideration. A 3-judge panel of the court granted a stay last week allowing Wisconsin's voter ID law to take effect. The cases are Frank v. Walker and LULAC v. Deininger.

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