Faculty in the News
Steven F. Huefner Media Hits
The following is a list of selected media coverage for Steven F. Huefner. The links below will direct you to sites that are not affiliated with the Moritz College of Law. They are subject to change, and some may expire or require registration as time passes.
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in Yes! Magazine about whether vote by mail systems have a measureable effect on voter turnout.
Vote by mail has led to “some marginal increase in turnout” during local or off-year elections, Huefner said, but ultimately has a relatively low impact during presidential elections.
“In high-profile elections … people who are going to vote are going to vote,” Huefner said.“And they’ll do that whether it’s voting by mail from their kitchen table or going to the polling place on the designated Election Day.”
Professor Steven Huefner appeared on North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC to explain the provisional ballot process. The race for North Carolina’s governor is still undecided, with a margin of about 5,000 votes separating Republican incumbent Pat McCrory from Democratic challenger Roy Cooper. County boards will meet to conduct a provisional ballot count.
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in The Christian Science Monitor about the prospects of white nationalists showing up at polling places to patrol for signs of election rigging.
“The only way you’re going to succeed in stealing an election … is massive absentee ballot fraud or being an insider who perverts the system,” Huefner said.
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in WOSU about why Ohio election laws prohibit voters from changing their early vote ballots after they have been cast.
“It’s a more complicated election system if you choose to allow that kind of change,” Huefner said. “You have to make arrangements so that election workers can be confident that they’re not counting one voter’s vote multiple times.”
Professor Steven Huefner appeared on WKSU to talk about how Ohio’s election laws prohibit voters from changing their early vote ballots after they have already been cast.
Professor Steven Huefner spoke with Alaska Public Media about access to the late Representative Max Gruenberg's records:
"Ohio State University law professor Steven Huefner has studied the issue of legislative immunity. He says the precedent for how to handle records after a legislator dies in office isn’t clear.
“'What I think is important is to give members, before they pass on, an opportunity to decide what their wishes are,'” said Huefner. “'Obviously, you’ve got a problem here, because that didn’t happen, so in this instance, it’s tricky. But I think members ought to be able to decide ahead of time that they want their papers to become public.'”
Professor Steve Huefner was quoted in an Alaska Dispatch News article about the late Rep. Max Gruenberg and his family's fight for access to his documents:
Gardner’s rationale for posthumously shielding Gruenberg’s documents is an unusual, if not unprecedented argument, said Steven Huefner, a law professor at Ohio State University who’s studied legislative immunity.
Typically, immunity is used to protect lawmakers from being intimidated or harassed by the executive branch, or by the courts, for legislative actions.
It’s possible, Huefner said, that there could be a basis for applying it after death, to the extent that lawmakers might be afraid to express themselves freely to staff if they knew that their “private musings” could ultimately be made public. But he also acknowledged that there’s a distinction when it’s a lawmaker’s family, not a different, hostile branch of government, that’s seeking access to documents.
“I think it’s probably a pretty novel kind of question,” Huefner said.
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in an article by The Lantern about the time the presidential race was called on Nov. 6, 2012. “It’s an advantage to our national government to be moving forward now as opposed to waiting,” he said. “I’m sure that this is a relief to the American public that it’s over.”
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in a blog post on Crain's Cleveland Business regarding the possible similarities between the 2000 presidential election in Florida and this year's presidential election in Ohio. "There is no federal statutory law that creates the same sort of election contest as under Ohio law," Prof. Steven Heufner of Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law tells the publication.
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in an article in the Connecticut Law Tribune about election laws in Ohio that could have an effect on voting outcome. "At some point,” says Huefner, “when there is enough of a case to be made that something has gone wrong that affects the election outcome, people will sit up and take notice that state courts can't consider this.”
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in an article in the Legal Times regarding the role students play in the 2012 presidential election on Election Day. "As a team, we're collecting the most significant election events and analyzing them on our website," said professor Steven Huefner. "Thus far, it has been like most other elections, with scattered problems around the country."
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in an article in RIA.ru about the election being too close to call. “If there’s an issue anywhere that requires a careful examination of [US] electoral processes, it will likely reveal the fact that voting today remains an incredibly complex process run on a shoestring budget basically by volunteers,” said Steven Huefner, a professor at Ohio State University’s Moritz School of Law.
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in an article in the Newark Advocate about voter fraud frequency and common ways it can happen. “I’m sure that what we have much more than anything else is people who are signing petitions who aren’t properly able to sign a petition,” Huefner said.
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in an article on TheWeek.com about how Hurricane Sandy will affect the November 6 election. "I think this storm is much more of a warning than an actual problem," Ohio State University law professor Steven Huefner tells BuzzFeed. To get a sense of how much worse it could be, "I'd like to invite people to think about what would be happening if the storm had arrived eight days later than it had."
Steven Huefner, professor at Ohio State's Moritz College of Law, was quoted in an article on RT.com from an interview with ABC News that any states that decide to postpone the election, though possible, would be posed with even bigger fish to fry. "For those states that don't already have an election emergency process in place, any departure from the established election process could easily give rise to court challenges about the legitimacy of the election," Huefner says. "Even states with an emergency plan might find themselves facing litigation over specific ways in which they've implemented their emergency plan."
Professor Steve Huefner was quoted by an ABC News article on the possibility of postponing the election because of Hurricane Sandy. "For those states that don't already have an election emergency process in place, any departure from the established election process could easily give rise to court challenges about the legitimacy of the election. Even states with an emergency plan might find themselves facing litigation over specific ways in which they've implemented their emergency plan."
Professor Steven Huerfner was quoted in an article in The Washington Post about the effects of Hurricane Sandy on voting in the upcoming election. Any governor who tried to reschedule or extend an election because of the weather would immediately be accused of partisan motivations, said Steven Huefner, professor at Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law. “There certainly would be a court fight,’’ he said.
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in an article on KMBZ.com about how Hurricane Sandy will affect voting in the upcoming election. "For those states that don't already have an election emergency process in place, any departure from the established election process could easily give rise to court challenges about the legitimacy of the election," he said. "Even states with an emergency plan might find themselves facing litigation over specific ways in which they've implemented their emergency plan."
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in a commentary in The Examiner about who has the power to change Election Day. “The bottom line is that Congress sets the date for the states to conduct the election of presidential electors,” Huefner explained, noting that the election date has already been set for Nov. 6. “Congress would be free to change that date but that seems a pretty remote prospect at this point that they would reconvene and change the date.”
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in an article on BuzzFeed about the voting difficulties cause by Hurricane Sandy. "We don't have a very well-established set of mechanisms for making those adjustments. Some states have existing procedures, but that's a minority of states that do. Even those states that have thought about it have come up with widely differing approaches," Huefner said.
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in a Cincinnati.com article about Rep. Steve Chabot proposing to quit using federal funds for Cincinnati’s streetcar project.
“A ‘fixed guideway’ system includes lots of things other than streetcars, so if enacted the Chabot amendment would apply to all of them,” Huefner said of Chabot’s amendment reading funds from the act may not be used for the system.
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in an article by CBS Money Watch about Judge J. Garvan Murtha basing his ruling on a Vermont Yankee nuclear plant case on an excerpt from Vermont’s legislative record.
"Legislative record excerpts are neither an appropriate means of controlling legislative authority nor a reliable indicator of legislative motivation," Huefner said. "Rather, the relevant motivation is always best expressed in the statutory language itself, the only language to which both houses of the Vermont Legislature and the Governor have committed themselves."
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted by The Cincinnati Enquirer about legal experts' analysis that November's ballot issue to halt Cincinnati's streetcar plan until 2020 is written so broadly it could stop other rail projects in the city. "It would halt any streetcar project for the next decade, not limited to the current city plan," said Huefner, senior fellow of Election Law @ Moritz. "You could target this more narrowly to a very specific current plan, but that would make it a little more tricky to draft because the city could make small changes to side-step the amendment."
Professor Huefner was quoted by Cincinnati.com in an article discussing Cincinnati's streetcar plan and Issue 48. The ballot issue currently halts the streetcar plan until 2020.
"It would halt any streetcar project for the next decade, not limited to the current city plan," said Huefner, who spent five years in the U.S. Senate's Office of Legal Counsel. "You could target this more narrowly to a very specific current plan, but that would make it a little more tricky to draft because the city could make small changes to side-step the amendment."
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in a New York Times story about the protection of lawmakers from prosecution. The story states: “Just how protected lawmakers should be from prosecution is an issue that many states grapple with, said Steven F. Huefner, a law professor at Ohio State University who studies the issue. He said the privilege, which is included in the United States Constitution and in many state constitutions, was designed to protect lawmakers from civil matters that would interfere with their legislative duties. ‘The legislative privilege should not become a get-out-of-jail-free card or escape-from-ever-being-put-in-jail card for state legislators,’ he said during a presentation on the issue during the National Conference of State Legislators Summit last year.”
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in a story on WBNS-10TV in Columbus following Tuesday’s elections. Questions centered on the use of provisional ballots because polling places had been moved in Delaware County, Ohio.
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in The News Journal about the Delaware city officials’ decision to issue a new vote for a disputed seat on city council after acknowledging concerns that election rules disenfranchised voters. Huefner was quoted regarding the revote: “‘Courts are understandably reluctant to call for a new election,’ said Steven Huefner, senior fellow of election law at Ohio State University. ‘Here we have a tie where the public's voice wasn't able to be heard. When you have a tie vote it doesn't take very many voters to convince a judge you need a new election.’”
Professor Steven Huefner was mentioned in a Columbus Dispatch story about an Ohio secretary of state investigation into who is funding a proposed referendum regarding slot machines in the state. The story stated: “Nonprofit groups are allowed to contribute to campaign committees under certain circumstances, but it clearly violates the spirit of campaign-finance laws to deliberately avoid revealing donors by using a nonprofit as a source of funding, said Steven F. Huefner, an Ohio State University law professor specializing in election law.”
Professor Steven F. Huefner was quoted in a Columbus Dispatch article regarding the recent debate of whether Ohio should consider creating a bipartisan board of elections to work with an elected secretary of state. The story states: “ ‘I think it's worthy of more attention than it has gotten,’ said Steven F. Huefner, an associate law professor at Ohio State University and senior fellow at the university's election-law center.”
Professor Steven F. Huefner was quoted in a Columbus Dispatch article on the problem with issues that still make it to the ballot even if petition signatures are found to be fraudulent. The story states: “Steven F. Huefner, an associate law professor at Ohio State University, also said the idea behind requiring a certain number of valid signatures to qualify an issue for the ballot is to prove that it has enough support to go before voters.
He argued that there may be problems no matter what deadlines are set and that even if an issue reaches the ballot that should not have, voters still have the final say.”
Professor Steve Huefner was quoted in a Pioneer Press story regarding the Minnesota recount. The story states: “‘Turns out, that's not such a simple question after all,’ said Steven Huefner, a Ohio State University law professor who served as assistant Senate legal counsel from 1995 to 2000. ‘In the past, it's just been what the Senate has decided.’”
Professor Steven Huefner was a featured guest on Columbus’ ABC 6 noontime broadcast to discuss election administration issues that may arise during the 2008 general election.
Professor Steve Huefner was quoted in a Dayton Daily News story about a campaign contribution made to Ohio Treasurer Richard Cordray. The story stated: “Ohio State University law professor Steve Huefner, an expert on election law and campaign finance, said giving in someone else's name ‘would completely circumvent the contribution limits’ and the public wouldn't be able to figure out who is buying access and influence.”
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in a Cleveland Plain-Dealer story about a former Cuyahoga County official who left his position to work with a private firm. He cannot, per Ohio ethics rules, discuss any of the projects he was working on in his public role for at least a year. “Steven Huefner, an associate professor at Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law, said, ‘You hope he's made a thorough analysis of those issues before he made the move.’ It will be tricky for Madden to avoid breaking the rules, Huefner said, although it's doubtful anyone will be monitoring the situation. Violation of an Ohio ethics law is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine.”
Professor Steven Huefner was quoted in a Columbus Dispatch story about the legalities associated with the possible impeachment of the Ohio Attorney General. The story states: “The constitution says an officeholder can be impeached ‘for any misdemeanor in office,’ but that doesn't necessarily refer to a crime, said Steven F. Huefner, an associate law professor at Ohio State University, and Steven H. Steinglass, a law professor and dean emeritus at Cleveland State University.”
Professors Steven F. Huefner, Daniel P. Tokaji, and Edward B. Foley published an Opinion Editorial in Roll Call regarding vulnerabilities in the election systems of five Midwestern states. The three professors recently published a report, From Registration to Recounts: The Election Ecosystems of Five Midwestern States. “If our political representatives are to serve with their electorate’s full confidence, the processes used to select those representatives must be sound. As a nation, we must continue improving our election systems to promote greater access, integrity and finality. Our democracy depends on it,” the editorial says.
Moritz professors Steven F. Huefner, Daniel P. Tokaji, and Edward B. Foley were quoted in several newspaper, television, and radio stories around country concerning the release of their new book From Registration to Recounts: The Election Ecosystems of Five Midwestern States. The professors, along with Election Law @ Moritz consultant and web editor Nathan Cemenska, spent a year creating the unprecedented report of election systems in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
Stories were published in the following, among several others:
The New York Times
The Columbus Dispatch
The Detroit News
Springfield, Ill., State Journal Register
Green Bay Press-Gazette
Professor Steven F. Huefner is quoted in this Bradenton Herald (Fla.) story on the possibility that several voters could win their court demands for a revote in the disputed 13th Congressional District election. "It's a rare remedy to call for a new election," said Huefner. "Courts are pretty reluctant to order new elections unless they have sufficient evidence that the election results are unreliable."
In this Independent Online story on the election, Professor Steven Huefner is quoted. "We're hearing isolated, scattered things having to do with machine malfunction, some reports... in terms of voter suppression and intimidation," said Huefner. "It's still pretty early, but I'd hoped things would be little smoother."
In a Zanesville (Ohio) Times Recorder story about the call to remove a Columbus judge from the bench, Professor Steven Huefner said it would be "problematic" if the Ohio legislature would begin removing the judge from the bench.
Salon.com discussed the legal efforts to challenge the election results in Ohio. Professor Steven Huefner said the efforts represent "an incredible long shot." He also was quoted as saying that "courts are just incredibly reluctant to overturn the results of an election absent a really strong showing that something happened that affected the outcome." These quotes were also picked up in a similar article in the Washington Post.
Reuters-UK reported that a federal court order required election officials in counties where there were long lines to vote to allow the voters to use paper punch card ballots in addition to the touch screen to speed up the process. Professor Steven Huefner questioned whether the order came in time to do any good.
Reuters discussed whether litigation would continue after presidential candidate John Kerry conceded the election. Professor Steven Huefner said, "I don't think we were ever looking at another Florida. The margin of votes for Bush was too large for Kerry to overcome."
A story in U.S. News and World Report discussed the potential for a legal "showdown" in Ohio concerning the presidential election. Professor Steven Huefner discussed the process for counting provisional ballots cast and Professor Daniel Tokaji noted that if the number of provisional ballots is large enough to determine the election, then disputes could arise over which ones should be counted.
In the Columbus edition of Business First, Professor Steven Huefner said that the amount of legal preparation and recruiting of lawyers for the November 2 election is unprecedented.
In a Cleveland Plain Dealer story about Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell's efforts to prevent challengers at the polls, Professor Steven Huefner said that Blackwell would have difficulty keeping challengers out of polling areas.