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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Litigation

NAACP-SCP v. Cortes

Case Information

Date Filed / Ended: October 23, 2008 / January 28, 2009
State: Pennsylvania
Issue: Voting Technology
Courts that Heard this Case: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Case 2:08-cv-05048)

Issue:

Whether polling locations can be required to distribute emergency paper ballots to voters when 50% or more voting machines become inoperable at a specific location.  Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortes has issued a directive requiring that paper ballots be distributed when 100% of the voting machines at a polling location have failed.  The plaintiffs, concerned about long lines due to malfunctioning voting machines, allege that not providing emergency paper ballots in cases where there is less than 100% voting machine failure would violate the constitutional rights of voters. 

Status:

Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunction filed on 10/23/08.  Motion for Preliminary Injunction granted on 10/29/08.  Order granting all defendants an extension of time to move, answer or otherwise respond to the complaint until 1/9/09 entered 12/15/08. Motion for Permanent Injunction filed by NAACP on 1/26/09.  Motion for Permanent Injunction Granted 1/28/09.

District Court Documents

Related Links

Commentary

Edward B. Foley

When Should a Voter’s “Clerical Error” Invalidate a Ballot?

Edward B. Foley

Not when the state already has enough information to verify the ballot’s validity.

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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

Michigan Federal Judge Blocks Law Prohibiting Straight Ticket Voting

U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain issued an opinion blocking enforcement of a Michigan law prohibiting straight-ticket voting. This voting method allows voters to easily select the entire slate of candidates on the ballot from a particular party. Michigan abolished straight-ticket voting by enacting a law effective in January. In granting the plaintffs\' motion for a preliminary injunction, Judge Drain determined that the law \"presents a disproportionate burden on African-Americans\' right to vote.\" The case is Michigan State A. Philip Randolph Institute v. Johnson.

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