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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)

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Commentary

Edward B. Foley

The Electoral Fix We Really Need

Edward B. Foley

The Electoral College winner should be the majority choice in each state that counts towards that Electoral College victory.

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In the News

Edward B. Foley

Trump Calls for Voter Fraud Probe: A Look at Past Inquiries

Professor Edward Foley was quoted in Voice of America about President Donald Trump’s plans to launch a “major investigation” into voter fraud. Trump claims he lost the popular vote because as many as 5 million non-U.S. citizens may have voted illegally.

“As I understand the latest allegations, somewhere between 3 to 5 million improper ballots were cast this past November nationwide, which Trump claims accounts for why Hillary Clinton won the popular vote,” Foley said. “Even if there were 3 to 5 million invalid votes nationwide, we can’t jump to the conclusion that the election result was tainted, because we don’t know who they voted for.”

The odds of a non-U.S. citizen successfully casting a ballot are “extremely low, extraordinarily low,” according to Foley. Instances in which invalid ballots are cast or when voters’ names appear on multiple state voter rolls also don’t necessarily indicate voter fraud either, he added.

“Just because a ballot was cast that was invalid, which is a problem, doesn’t necessarily mean there was a conspiracy to commit voter fraud,” Foley said. “Fraud is a pejorative term that implies intentional deception and manipulation, as opposed to there being mistakes in voter registration lists.”
 


 

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Info & Analysis

U.S. District Judge Rules that Ohio Voter Services Website Violates ADA

A U.S. District Judge issued an opinion finding that the Ohio Secretary of State\'s voter services website violates Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act because it is not accessible to visually impaired Ohio voters. Judge George C. Smith ordered Secretary of State John Husted to make the site more accessible by September 29, 2017. As discussed in the opinion, the information on the voter services site does not meet established standards of accessibility for visually impaired voters who use screen reading software. The case is Hindel v. Husted.

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