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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Litigation

Ohio Republican Party et al v. Brunner

Case Information

Date Filed / Ended: September 26, 2008 / October 17, 2008
State: Ohio
Issues: Absentee Ballots, Early Voting, Voter Registration
Courts that Heard this Case: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Case 2:08-cv-00913); U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit (Case 08-4242, 08-4243, 08-4322); U.S. Supreme Court (Case 08A332)

Issue:

Whether Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner's directive (2008-63), which gives voters a five-day window (30-35 days before the election) within which they may simultaneously register and receive an absentee ballot, impermissibly conflicts with state statutory election laws.  Plaintiffs are also challenge Advisory 2008-24, in which Secretary Brunner advises county boards of elections that they are not required to permit party observers at polling places during this period of time.  Plaintiffs are also alleging violations of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).

DISCLOSURE

Status:

The district court issued the TRO on 10/10/10.  A three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit vacated this TRO on 10/11/08; however, a full panel of the appellate court, in an en banc review, reinstated the district court's TRO on 10/14/08.  The U.S. Supreme Court vacated the TRO in a per curiam decision released on 10/17/08.  The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in the district court on 11/4/08.

District Court Documents

U.S. Supreme Court Documents

Court of Appeals Documents - Second Appeal (08-4322)

Court of Appeals Documents - First Appeal (08-4242, 08-4243)

Related Links

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Commentary

Election Law @ Moritz is 10 Years Old!

Back in 2004, those of us who worked on election law here at Ohio State realized that Ohio might play a pivotal role in the upcoming presidential election. (It did, but for the sake of the nation not as pivotally as it might have.) We also knew that 2004 would be the first presidential election after passage of the Help America Vote Act, with all its new rules on voter registration databases, voter identification, and provisional ballots. We thought it might be useful if, as a team, we tried to get up to speed on the new terrain of “election administration law,” which had been a sleepy field in terms of scholarship before 2000. We had a sense that teamwork would enable us to produce various forms of useful scholarship that we could not accomplish working separately.

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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

U.S. District Judge Grants Summary Judgment to Plaintiffs in Ohio Absentee Voting Case Involving Jailed Citizens

U.S. District Judge Arthur Spiegel yesterday granted summary judgment in an absentee voting case, ruling that Ohio must provide absentee voting assistance to late-jailed electors. The case is Fair Elections Ohio v. Husted.

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