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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

Daniel P. Tokaji

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

SCOTUS Grants Stay in Ohio Early Voting Case

With a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court today granted a stay in NAACP v. Husted. The court's action blocks a district court order issued earlier this month and allows Ohio's shortened early voting period to go into effect.

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