Symposium:  Election Law and the Roberts Court

10/3/06 - On September 29 and 30 the OSU Moritz College of Law hosted its long-anticipated symposium entitled "Election Law and the Roberts Court."  Election law scholars from across the county attended, presented papers especially prepared for the conference, and engaged in a lively discussion of where our nation's highest court is heading.  Video of the conference was recorded and will be posted to this website as soon as possible.  Read More

50 Questions for 5 States:  Illinois

10/3/06 - Today we publish the first installment of our 50 Questions for 5 States feature for Illinois.  This installment covers voter registration concerns.  The 50/5 project is intended to provide an objective and thorough digest of the election administration laws for Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. Read More

The Constitutionality of Removing an Initiative from the Ballot:  Ohio's Tax and Expenditure Limitations Initiative

9/26/06 - An article by Kathleen Clyde considering the constitutionality of Ohio's HB 312, which provides a mechanism for removing a validly certified initiative from the ballot. Read More

50 Questions for 5 States:  Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin

9/26/06 - Today we publish the second installment of our 50 Questions for 5 States feature for Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  This installment covers absentee voting rules.  The 50/5 project is intended to provide an objective and thorough digest of the election administration laws for Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. Read More

50 Questions for 5 States:  Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin

9/19/06 - Today we publish the first installment of our 50 Questions for 5 States feature for Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The 50/5 project is intended to provide an objective and thorough digest of the election administration laws for Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. Read More

Case Filed Challenging Multi-state Voter Registration Purge

9/19/06 - The League of Women Voters recently filed an amicus brief in this case challenging a database "matching" and purge program coordinated between Kentucky, Tennessee and South Carolina.  The EL@M team is currently seeking other documents filed in this case.  Read More

50 Questions for 5 States:  Ohio

9/12/06 - Today we publish the second installment of 50 Questions for 5 States:  Ohio.  The 50/5 project is intended to provide an objective and thorough digest of the election administration laws for Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. Read More

Court Refuses to Issue Preliminary Injuction in Arizona Voter ID Case

9/12/06 - The US District Court for the District of Arizona today issued an order denying the plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction.  The plaintiffs had sought the injunction to prevent Arizona from enforcing voter ID rules requiring proof of citizenship.  Read More

Court Enjoins Ohio Law Regulating Voter Registration Groups

9/1/06 - Today, the Northern District of Ohio issued a preliminary injunction in Project Vote v. Blackwell, a case challenging certain laws regulating voter registration groups.  Read More

Ohio Groups Sue To Appoint Special Master

8/31/06 - On August 31, Ohio voter rights groups sued Secretary of State Blackwell alleging that he administered the 2004 election in a way that discriminated against minorities.  The complaint calls for the court to remove Blackwell from his current adminstrative duties and to appoint a replacement.  Read More

Foreign-born Challenge Ohio's Proof of Citizenship Requirement

8/29/06 - On August 29, 2006, a group of foreign-born citizens sued Secretary of State Blackwell to challenge Ohio laws that require voters to produce proof of American citizenship if their citizenship is called into question at the polls by election judges.  Among other things, the complaint alleges that the law discriminates on the basis of national origin.  Read More

A Digest of Ohio's Voter ID and Absentee Voting Rules

8/18/06 - Dan Tokaji and Chad Eggspuehler offer an analysis of Ohio's new Voter ID and Absentee Voting rules. 

Kennedy v. Roberts in the Texas Redistricting Case

7/25/06 - Justices Kennedy and Roberts did not find much room for agreement in LULAC v. Perry, the Texas redistricting case.  Kennedy's analysis differed from the Chief Justices' on several key issues:  whether creating a new minority opportunity district could cure dismantling an opportunity district elsewhere, whether geographic "compactness" was essential to that analysis, and whether the proportionality of a minority population's voting power should be considered statewide or regionally.  Read More | Case Summary | More Information and Related Links

Ohio's Charles Morrison:  An Independent or a Republican?

7/25/06 - As the American public follows the national news coverage of former vice-presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman's possible re-election candidacy as an independent rather than a Democrat, Franklin County has its own version of the story in the candidacy of Charles R. Morrison II for U.S. Congress.  Mr. Morrison wishes to run as an Independent in the November general election following unsuccessful bids in the May primary for seats on the Republican Party Central Committees for both State of Ohio and Madison County.  Secretary of State Blackwell has ruled that Mr. Morrison is not eligible to run as an Independent.  Read More

More on the Georgia Voter ID Case (Lake v. Perdue)

7/25/06 - On July 3, 2006, two individual voters filed suit against the Governor of Georgia.  The complaint alleged that Act 53, a statute requiring Georgia voters to present certain forms of photo ID before voting in person, violated Article II of the Georgia constitution.  Together with the complaint, the plaintiffs filed a motion for temporary restraining order that would prevent Georgia from using Act 53’s procedures in its July 18 elections.  Four days later, the trial court granted a preliminary injunction against using Act 53’s procedures because Act 53 “violates the Constitution by placing a restrictive condition on the right to vote.”  The Supreme Court of Georgia refused to stay the trial court’s injunction, and the election went forward under the old procedures without incident.  Read More

Georgia Voter ID Case - Common Cause/Georgia v. Billups

7/25/06 - On September 19, 2005, seven non-profit organizations and two individual voters filed suit against the superintendents of various Georgia county Boards of Election and Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox.  The original complaint alleged that Act 53, a statute requiring Georgia voters to present certain forms of photo ID before voting in-person, violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and unduly burdened Georgia voters’ rights to vote under both the US and Georgia constitutions. On July 14, 2006, the court entered an order granting a preliminary injunction as to the 2006 Act.  Read More

US Attorney General Sues Ohio City Alleging Voting Rights Act Violations

7/18/06 - On July 10, 2006, the US Attorney General sued the City of Euclid and other officials claiming that Euclid’s system for electing City Council members violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.  The US claims that Euclid’s system of at-large voting dilutes the Euclid African-American vote and allows Euclid whites to vote as a bloc to defeat every City Council candidate preferred by the African-American community.  Read More

Voter Registration Groups Sue Ohio Secretary of State

7/11/06 - On July 6, 2006, six voter registration organizations and their workers sued various Ohio state officials claiming Ohio’s new voter registration laws unduly burden Plaintiffs’ rights of free speech and association, impermissibly discriminate against minorities, and violate certain provisions of the National Voting Registration Act of 1993.  Plaintiffs sought an injunction preventing Defendants from enforcing the disputed voter registration procedures. Read More

Texas Redistricting Case
7/4/06 - On Wednesday, June 28, 2006, the Supreme Court issued a fractured opinion in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry. The Court rejected the appellants' claim that Texas' 2003 redistricting plan was an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander, and the claim that the redistricting of District 24, affecting African-Americans in the Dallas area, was a violation of 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The Court did, however, hold that the redistricting of District 23, affecting Latino voters in the Laredo area, constituted a violation of 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Texas will have to redraw the districts in the south and west portions of the state to remedy the violation. Justice Kennedy wrote the lead opinion explaining: (1) why the appellants had not articulated a workable standard for claims of unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering, (2) why mid-decade redistricting did not violate the "one-person one-vote" requirement, (3) why the redrawing of District 23 was not remedied by District 25 and constituted impermissible vote dilution of Latino voters, and (4) why the District Court's reasoning was not clearly erroneous when it found that splitting up District 24 did not dilute the vote of that district's African-American population. Case Summary | More Information and Related Links

11th Circuit's Voting Machine Case: A Fresh Application of Bush v. Gore
6/28/06 - On June 20, 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit issued its decision in Wexler v. Anderson, a federal case dealing with constitutional issues arising out of Florida election law. In this case, the plaintiffs argued that Florida 's manual recount procedures in counties using touch screen voting machines violated the federal constitutional rights of equal protection and due process of the voters in those counties. The appellate court affirmed the decision of the district court to dismiss the plaintiff's claim. Read More

Vermont's Campaign Finance Limits Struck Down
6/26/06 - This morning, the Supreme Court rejected Vermont's campaign finance laws in the case of Randall v. Sorrell. Finding that these limits unduly burden a candidate's ability to raise money and deliver their message to potential voters, a 6-3 vote of the Court ruled these limits to be unconstitutional. For additional commentary and news articles, view Rick Hasen's Election Law blog here. View the Opinion | View Court Documents | View a New York Times Article discussing the decision. | Preliminary Analysis

District Court Dismisses All Claims Against Florida Secretary of State in Voter Registration Case
6/23/06 - Finding that Plaintiffs did not suffer irreparable or substantial harm, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida has dismissed all claims against the Florida Secretary of State in the case of Diaz v. Hood. At the same time, the Court found that the constitutional claims of Plaintiff brought against the County Supervisors of Elections were overly broad (a "shotgun" Complaint) and must be re-plead prior to any ruling on the same. View Order | View Case Documents

Redistricting in the Wake of Legislative Downsizing in Rhode Island
6/21/06 - Redistricting is always a difficult process for a state legislature. Rhode Island's most recent redistricting effort was especially painful, because in 1994, voters eliminated approximately one-quarter of the seats in the General Assembly. On June 9, 2006, in Parella v. Montalbano, the Rhode Island Supreme Court affirmed a Superior Court decision that held that the new Rhode Island Senate redistricting statute was constitutional Read More

New Voter Registration Rules in Ohio
6/20/06 - Secretary of State Ken Blackwell has adopted a controversial new rule that, according to some voter registration and voter rights groups, makes it extremely difficult to complete the voter registration process. Read More

Arizona District Court Denies Motion for Temporary Restraining Order in Voter I.D. Case
6/19/06 - Yesterday, the United States District Court for the District of Arizona denied the Motion for Temporary Restraining Order filed in the case of Gonzalez v. Arizona. The Court, finding that the National Voter Registration Act does not prohibit states from requesting more information from applicants than what is on the federal voter registration form, held that Plaintiffs in this case did not show a substantial likelihood of success on the merits. View Order Denying Motion for Preliminary Injunction | View Case Documents

Summary of Forum on Problematic Primary in Cuyahoga County
6/15/06 - On Friday, June 9, 2006, the Cleveland State University's Center for Election Integrity and the League of Women Voters of Cleveland Educational Fund hosted a forum entitled Lessons Learned from Ohio's Primary: Making November a Success. Read More

Ohio Voter Registration Regulations Amended and Refiled
6/15/06 - Yesterday, Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell amended and refiled proposed regulations regarding voter registration. Amendments to these regulations, said to be in response to a public hearing held on June 5, include removal of the the definition of "compensation" and clarification of the propriety of returning voter forms via mail to the Board of Elections or Secretary of State. To view these Refiled Regulations, as well as other documents relevant to the proposed voter registration regulations, click here.

District Court Rules in Favor of United States in HAVA Compliance Case
6/9/06 - The United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama on Wednesday granted relief in the form of a Preliminary Injunction and Declaratory Judgment in favor of the United States in the case of United States v. Alabama. Finding that the state of Alabama does not have a computerized statewide voter registration as required by the Help America Vote Act ("HAVA") and that the state's failure to comply with HAVA will most likely continue into the 2008 federal election cycle, the Court granted the United States' Motion for Preliminary Injunction and is requiring Defendants to file a report with the Court regarding the steps they are taking in implementing the required system. View Memorandum Opinion and Order | View Court Documents

Christian Civic League of Maine v. Federal Elections Commission Update
6/6/06 - An in-depth summary of the developments in the Christian Civic League of
Maine v. Federal Elections Commission
is now available Read More

Problematic Primary in Cuyahoga County Leaves Many Questions Unanswered
6/2/06 - The primary election of May 2006 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, was marred by serious administrative, personnel, and technological problems, resulting in delays in vote tabulation and probable decreased voter confidence in the electoral structure. This document describes the problems associated with the primary election, and discusses the early actions being taken by the Board of Elections and the Secretary of State to rectify these problems for future elections. Read More

HJR 13: Did Ohio Miss a Rare Opportunity?
5/30/06 - On Thursday, May 25, 2006, House Joint Resolution 13 failed in the Ohio House of Representatives, and consequently Ohio may have missed a rare opportunity to lead the nation in redistricting reform. The vote on the House floor featured some strategic parliamentary maneuvers by the Republicans which ultimately forced the Democrats to vote against their own redistricting proposal. Read More

Summary Judgment Granted in Alabama Felon Voting Rights Case
5/30/06 - The United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama has granted Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment in the case of Gooden v. Worley, holding that the Plaintiffs in the case failed to establish a current injury that could be remedied. Finding that one of the Plaintiffs was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude requiring him to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility in order to vote, a provision which had been properly precleared under the Voting Rights Act, and that the two remaining Plaintiffs had already been granted the right to vote, the Court found that Plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the current action. View the Order Granting Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment | View Case Documents

District Court Dismisses Alabama Redistricting Case
5/23/06 - The United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama has dismissed the challenge to the state redistricting plan brought in the case of Gustafson v. Johns. Holding that the Plaintiffs in this case were virtually represented by Plaintiffs in prior cases challenging the same plan, the Court found that the current action was barred by res judicata. View the Order Dismissing the Case | View Case Documents

Is Bipartisan Redistricting Reform Achievable?
5/19/06 - Democratic Party leaders in Ohio say they favor bipartisan redistricting reform but they have raised questions about details of the proposal put forward by Rep. Kevin DeWine and other Republican leaders in the state. Professor Edward B. Foley offers some suggested modifications of the DeWine proposal that address the Democrats' concerns. Read More

District Court Upholds Georgia's Redistricting Plan
5/18/06 - The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia has ruled in favor of Defendants in the case of Kidd v. Cox, upholding the state's mid-decade redistricting plan. The Court found that Plaintiffs had failed to: (1) prove that this new redistricting plan was unrelated to any legitimate redistricting criterion; (2) articulate any standards that would make an equal protection political gerrymandering claim justiciable; and, (3) show that the plan violated any First Amendment protected rights. View the Memorandum Opinion | View Case Documents

Redistricting Commission Proposal Officially Introduced
5/10/06 - Republican Kevin DeWine has introduced H.R. 13 in the Ohio General Assembly, officially presenting the plan to create a new non-partisan redistricting commission. Read Official Version of New Redistricting Plan as Introduced

Court Denies Preliminary Injunction in Christian Civic League of Maine v. FEC
5/10/06 - The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has denied Christian Civic League of Maine's Motion for Preliminary Injunction finding that, as conceded by Plaintiff, Plaintiff has alternatives to running the advertisement at issue; such alternatives include: (1) funding the ad through a PAC; (2) altering the medium used to disseminate the ad; and, (3) changing the language of the ad to remove the identification of any specific Senator. As alternatives are available to Plaintiff, the Court found that there was no irreparable injury to Plaintiff, thus denying the issuance of the requested Preliminary Injunction. View the Memorandum Opinion | View Case Documents

New Redistricting Commission Proposal Introduced in Ohio Senate
5/5/06 - A new redistricting commission has been proposed in Ohio that would eliminate the one-party process currently in place. Under this new proposal, a seven member board would be created, consisting of two Democrats, two Republicans and three other members which would have to be agreed upon unanimously by both the Democrat and Republican members; a super majority of five votes would be required to approve any new district map. Read more from: The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Columbus Dispatch, the Youngstown Vindicator, The Dayton Daily News, and The Akron Beacon Journal (here or here). Click here for more redistricting reform developments.

Court of Appeals Decides Two Felon Voting Rights Cases
5/5/06 - Yesterday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued two decisions regarding felon voting rights in the state of New York. In dismissing Plaintiff's challenge in Hayden v. Pataki (decision here), the Court held that the Voting Rights Act does not apply to felon disenfranchisement, finding that such application would disturb the constitutional balance between state and federal government. In Muntaqim v. Coombe (decision here), the Court dismissed Plaintiff's challenge as Plaintiff was found to lack standing based on his statements that he would leave New York once he was paroled. View Court Documents

Voting Rights Act Renewal Debate
5/3/06 - As Dan Tokaji notes on Equal Vote, and Rick Hasen has observed on his Election Law blog, the introduction in Congress of a bipartisan bill to reauthorize key provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act will lead to a major constitutional question concerning the authority of Congress to enact legislation that is more protective of voting rights than the protection that the U.S. Constitution itself provides. For this reason, as well as others, some scholars - including Rick Pildes and Guy Charles - are advocating that Congress use a different legislative approach when enacting new voting rights legislation, one modeled more on the National Voter Registration Act and the Help America Vote Act than on the 1965 Voting Rights Act. A revised version of Pildes' paper on this point is now available, as is an initial version of Charles' paper.

Papers from Princeton Conference: Pildes, others
5/2/06 - Rick Pildes, Edward B. Foley, Richard Briffault, Guy-Uriel Charles, and the joint presentation of Sarah Liebschutz and Daniel Palazzolohas presented papers last month at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, for the conference called "Making Every Vote Count: A Colloquium on Electoral Reform Legislation." Read More

Michigan Court to Hear Voter ID Dispute
5/1/06 - The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge regarding a 10 year old state statute that has been approved but has never gone into effect. The Court stated that it will issue an advisory opinion as to whether voters constitutionally may be required to present photo identification when voting under the provisions of this statute. Read more from the Detroit Free Press

New Ohio Redistricting Plan to be Presented in May
4/25/06 - A new redistricting plan for Ohio is expected to be unveiled in May for a vote by the State House and Senate. The plan would place decennial redistricting in the hands of an independent seven member panel, rather than in control of the majority party. However, key details, such as compact v. competitive districts, still need to be resolved prior to placing the plan on the November ballot as a constitutional amendment. Read more from the Columbus Dispatch

Sixth Circuit Rules on Ohio Punch Card Case
4/24/06 - The Sixth Circuit on Friday ruled that Ohio's use of punch card and central-count optical scan voting equipment violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. By a 2-1 vote, the Court held that, by allowing this equipment to be used in some counties but not others, the state failed to accord equal treatment to voters as required by Bush v. Gore and other cases. The Court also ruled in Plaintiffs' favor on their claim of race discrimination under the Voting Rights Act, sending this claim back to the District Court for further proceedings. Full Decision | Further Analysis

Election of Tennessee Senator Voided
4/20/06 - On Wednesday, the Tennessee State Senate voted to void the election of Senator Ophelia Ford, stating that there was evidence of improperly cast votes in the election that Senator Ford won by a narrow margin. Senator Ford had filed suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee to avoid such an ouster, but the Court on Tuesday declined to intervene. More news articles with additional details: Tennessean | Nashville City Paper | Houston Chronicle

District Court Upholds Indiana's Voter Identification Requirement
4/17/06 - In an Order issued Friday, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana granted Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment in Indiana Democratic Party v. Rokita. Stating that people are required to present identification in order to perform many of their daily activities, the Court ruled that the identification requirement does not infringe on anybody's right to vote. View Order | View All Case Documents

District Court Remands Campaign Finance Case Back to FEC
3/30/06 - In an Order issued yesterday, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia found that the FEC had failed to consider all the relevant factors in the campaign finance decision at issue in Shays v. FEC. However, as the Court was not convinced that a new rule needed to be promulgated in response to this action, the case was remanded to the FEC to either elaborate on the propriety of ruling on such matters on a case-by-case basis, or to promulgate a rule regarding such cases. View Order | View All Case Documents

Two Orders Issued In League of Women Voters v. Blackwell
2/13/06 - On Friday, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio issued two Orders in the case of League of Women Voters v. Blackwell. The first Order grants Defendants' Motion for Leave to Appeal the Court's December 2 Order, but solely on the issue of whether Defendants have plead a valid claim. The second Order denies Defendants' Motion to Dismiss based on sovereign immunity, stating that this claim is unfounded and without any merit; the Court further states that any appeal on the issue of sovereign immunity would be frivolous. View All Case Documents

11th Circuit Court of Appeals Remands Georgia ID Case Back to District Court
2/10/06 - According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the 11th Circuit has remanded the case of Common Cause v. Billups to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. As Georgia has passed Senate Bill 84, altering the challenged voter identification requirements, the case has been sent back to the lower court to consider the constitutionality of the new law. View All Case Documents

Supreme Court Remands Campaign Finance Case to Lower Court for "As Applied Challenge"
1/23/06 - Today, in the case of Wisconsin Right
to Life v. FEC
, the United States Supreme Court ruled that "as applied challenges" to the "electioneering communications" provisions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) are not completely prohibited by the court's previous decision in McConnell v. FEC. The Supreme Court ruled that the District Court improperly barred the challenge and never fully considered whether the advertisements at issue in this case are entitled to an "as applied" exemption on the ground that, despite naming a candidate, do not concern an upcoming election; accordingly, the Supreme Court has remanded the case to the lower court for reconsideration of the "as applied challenge."
View Opinion
| View All Case Documents

Lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, Enters Plea Agreement to Testify as to Campaign Contributions Given in Exchange for Legislative Favors
1/10/06 - As part of an agreement requiring his cooperation in investigating members of Congress, Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to charges involving wire fraud and conspiracy on Wednesday. Among the charges against Abramoff were quid pro quo arrangements, whereby Abramoff allegedly gave campaign contributions and items of value to at least one member of Congress in exchange for specific legislative favors that would be beneficial to Abramoff and his clients. The plea agreement requires Abramoff to testify before any grand jury or court proceedings and provide any requested documents regarding lawmakers to whom he gave campaign donations and other gifts in exchange for legislative favors; in return, Abramoff will not be prosecuted for anything he discloses in cooperation with the investigation.
View Complaint
| View Plea Agreement

Court Declines to Hear Appeal in Arizona Minority Coalition for Redistricting Case
1/5/06 - On Wednesday, the Arizona Supreme Court, without comment, declined to hear appeals challenging the state’s congressional and legislative district maps. Review was sought of the Court of Appeals decision in the hopes of forcing the State to create more competitive districts in the state.
Read More
| Case Documents

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Texas Redistricting Appeal
12/12/05 - The Court will consider (1) a standard for determining whether partisan gerrymandering is excessive, (2) whether a state may enact a redistricting plan mid-decade and (3) racial and ethnic bias in redistricting. View Case Documents

U.S. Sues Missouri over Maintenance of Voter Registrations
11/23/05 - View the Complaint

Order Filed in League of Women Voters
11/22/05 - In a Order from the Discovery Conference held on 11/21/05, the Court denied Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, while allowing Plaintiffs to file an Amended Complaint due by 11/30/05. View Case Documents.

Politics and Tax-Exempt Organizations
11/21/05 - The IRS has recently started "inquiries" to determine if certain 501(c)(3)s violated their (c)(3) status by engaging in political intervention. Read More

Court Won't Review Felon Disenfranchisement
11/14/05 - The United States Supreme Court has refused to review felon disenfranchisement in Johnson v. Bush. Read More at SCOTUSblog

Detroit Election Marred by Alleged Improprieties
11/9/05 - Potentially affecting the mayoral race in this city, federal investigators are examining whether the city clerk's office inappropriately sought to influence how senior citizens and disabled voters filled out their absentee ballots. A state judge already has ordered state and county officials to take over supervision of the city's absentees, a ruling that was sustained on appeal yesterday. Meanwhile, other allegations include reports of ballots cast in the name of dead voters, and intimidation of voters at the polls. Details here.

Ohio Election Related Issues Defeated
11/9/05 - View Unofficial Election Results

Small Donor Action Committee
11/8/05 (Travis McDade) - One of the complaints about ballot language is that it is often aimed at lawyers and so written above the comfortable reading level of average citizens. While all of the five issues on the ballot in November have phrases and sections that might be difficult to understand, none is causing more trouble than Issue 3's small donor action committee. Read More

The Political Advertisements
11/7/05 (Travis McDade) - After repeated viewings the television ads on both sides of Ohio's issues battle start to sound pretty much the same; two recent ones illustrate the trend. Read More

Bipartisan, Blue-Ribbon panel issues redistricting reform principles similar to approach of Ohio's Issue 4
11/3/05 - The Campaign Legal Center and the Council for Excellence in Government jointly published "The Shape of Representative Democracy," the final report of the Redistricting Reform Conference held in June 2005. The conference assembled over three dozen experts in political districting and election law. Read More

Two Perspectives on Issue 3
11/2/05 (Travis McDade) - Issue 3 will, according to proponents, take the money out of politics. But opponents say it will only take some money out of politics while giving a decided advantage to labor unions who are specially exempted from some of the Issue 3 language. Read More

The California and Ohio Redistricting Plans Compared
10/31/05 (Travis McDade) - Voters in two bellwether states - Ohio and California - will vote this November on significant amendments to the way their state is divided up for the sake of elections. The Ohio and California plans differ greatly in their construction and in the impact their passage might have on voters. Read More

Stay of Preliminary Injunction in Georgia ID Case Denied
10/28/05 - View Case Documents

Potential for Voting Delays
10/26/05 (Travis McDade) - Because turnout of the sort seen last November is not expected this election day a number of Ohio counties are taking this opportunity to debut new voting machines. However, information is not being posted that might aid voters in the use of these news machines. Read More

In pair of decisions on Oct. 10, Ohio S.Ct. keeps a levy-repeal issue off the ballot, but lets a separate levy-reduction issue stay on
10/24/05 - One difference is timeliness: in Mason City School Dist. v. Warren Cty. Bd. of Elections, the school district waited too long to file its petition to keep the levy reduction off the ballot. Another difference is substantive: in State ex rel. Choices for South-Western City Schools v. Anthony, the ballot issue would have had voters decide whether to repeal, rather than, reduce a levy. The court ruled that Ohio law did not permit putting the repeal issue before the voters.

Arizona Redistricting Case
10/21/05 (Travis McDade) - A recent decision by an Arizona court may well presage disputes that would arise in Ohio if Issue 4 were to become law. Read More

The Issue 4 Redistricting Plan Explained (in a way)
10/20/05 (Travis McDade) - The potential adoption of an open plan for redistricting Ohio’s political map has been received with cautious optimism. Read More

New and Old Arguments for Campaign Spending Limits: Will Any Convince the Court?
10/18/05 (Edward B. Foley) - An analysis of the Randall v. Sorrell case Read Analysis

Absentee Voting Controversy
10/17/05 (Travis McDade) - General Assembly Republicans have taken a bit of the Reform Ohio Now spirit to heart. It turns out to be the 'Now' part. Read More

Understanding the Issues
10/14/05 (Travis McDade) - Ohio voters are having a hard time understanding the four ballot issues backed by Reform Ohio Now (RON). And it has nothing to do with the now-famous RON goat, intoning in goatese, the word "really" at the end of a television advertisement. Read More

The Significance of Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc. v. Federal Election Commission
10/13/05 (Edward B. Foley) - This new case, Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc. v. Federal Election Commission, might cause the Supreme Court to overturn its own recent decision, McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003), which upheld the authority of Congress to prohibit the use of corporate and union money to broadcast election campaign messages. Read Analysis

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees To Review Two Key Campaign Finance Cases
09/27/05 - The Wisconsin case involves an "as-applied" challenge to the "electioneering communications" provision of the McCain Feingold law, which survived a facial challenge in McConnell v. FEC, 540 U.S. 93 (2003). The Vermont case involves a state law limitation on a candidate's expenditures, which was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, notwithstanding the precedent of Buckley v. Valeo, 425 U.S. 946 (1976), on the ground that time and factual developments had superseded the Buckley categorical invalidation of spending limits. Consideration of these two cases gives the Court, with the upcoming arrival of two new members, the opportunity to recast the constitutional law of campaign finance regulation.