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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Sandy Colloquy

This is a colloquy concerning the response to Hurricane Sandy

Sandy Colloquy 1: Could Election Day Be Washed Out?

Could Election Day be washed out? With Hurricane Sandy and Election Day upon us, this perfect storm could lead to a very imperfect election.

Hurricane Sandy has the potential to disrupt elections in key swing states. It is already affecting Virginia and its future path could wreak havoc in New Hampshire or Ohio and other states with close congressional races.

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Sandy Colloquy 2: Can Paper Save Election Day from Sandy?

This comment is part of a colloquy initiated by John Fortier's thoughts on the potential implications of Hurricane Sandy for this year's election.

John raises important questions, both about how to handle the electoral implications of Hurricane Sandy specifically and also more broadly about how states and the federal government can better prepare for future emergencies that disrupt voting on Election Day.

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Sandy Colloquy 3: Unintended Consequences

[This post continues a colloquy begun yesterday. Read Steve Huefner's initial post here; read John Fortier's first post here; read Ned Foley's first post here.]

The winds are still blowing here in Virginia, so the question of how the storm might affect our election is a live one. Ned Foley, as he often does, has deepened the discussion of this question, and he has turned our focus to the exact issue at hand.

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Sandy Colloquy 4: Hurricane Sandy, the 2012 Election, and Some Room for Compromise

[This post continues a colloquy begun yesterday. Read Steve Huefner's initial post here; read John Fortier's first post here; read Ned Foley's first post here; read John Fortier's second post here.

National disasters bring the country together. In the aftermath of the shooting at a "Congress on Your Corner" event featuring Representative Gabby Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, the United States reflected on our politics and civil discourse. Indeed, just two weeks later Members of Congress sat next to their political opponents at the State of the Union address to exhibit a sense of bipartisanship. The country demonstrated similar rallying behind President George W. Bush after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

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Sandy Colloquy 5: Making Every Effort to Vote On-time

If modern American political history is any guide, every effort will be made to conduct the election on its regularly scheduled date in all states affected by Sandy, for the simple reason that the USA (and the world, given the USA's out-sized importance to it since the 1940's) needs to have a result very quickly in order to make a smooth, effective transition possible if the challenger wins. That real-world pressure heavily affected the Bush v. Gore litigation's resolution. And so unless conditions are truly unworkable, in major metro areas especially, I expect the election to go forward on Nov. 6th, even if the results are messy in the sense that some voters don't show up for weather-related reasons and some machines fail and voters are asked to fill out paper ballots for that reason.

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Commentary

Daniel P. Tokaji

Is Ted Cruz Eligible to Be President? Letís Find Out

Daniel P. Tokaji

Donald Trump has revived the question whether Senator Ted Cruz is ineligible to serve as President due to his birth in Canada. The issue cries out for judicial resolution, but there are constitutional and prudential obstacles to a federal court deciding it.  This comment argues that the most promising avenue  is a state court lawsuit challenging Senator Cruz’s eligibility and seeking his removal from the primary ballot. There’s at least one state – Pennsylvania – where the deadline for filing hasn’t yet expired, but if skeptics of Cruz’s eligibility want to sue there they must act quickly, no later than Tuesday. Litigating the case through state court would tee up the issue for Supreme Court review, which would be helpful in resolving the recurrent question of what it means to be a “natural born Citizen."

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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

U.S. District Judge Rules for Plaintiffs in Ohio Early Voting Case

Today, U.S. District Judge Michael Watson issued Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in an Ohio early voting case, determining that Ohio\'s reduction of in-person early voting days violated Equal Protection and the Voting Rights Act. Judge Watson dismissed additional claims brought by the plaintiffs. A bench trial was held in late 2015. The case is Ohio Democratic Party v. Husted.

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