Must-read Roll Call report on the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the federal agency which is supposed to be advising on best practices in running elections, and would be a go-to place for guidance in the wake of Sandy, but which has all four of its commissioner seats vacant thanks to Republican opposition to the agency.
Eggen: “The two presidential candidates said they had nearly $300 million in the bank for the final leg of the campaign, raising a simple question: What in the world are they going to do with all that money? The answer, of course, is that they are going to spend it — at a rate never seen before in the annals of American politics.”
This item appears at the WSJ Law Blog.
You can find the latest order in SEIU v. Husted here. As I explained in this post,a federal district court, in the SEIU case on remand from the Sixth Circuit, has expanded the number of provisional ballots which Ohio must count because of poll worker error to include ballots cast by voters in the wrong location (and not just the wrong precinct).
Today the 6th Circuit stayed this order, finding that the plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed on appeal, for two reasons. First, “While poll-worker error may contribute to the occurrence of wrong-place/wrong-precinct ballots, the burden on these voters certainly differs from the burden on right-place/wrong-precinct voters—and likely decreases—because the wrong-place/wrong-precinct voter took affirmative steps to arrive at the wrong polling location. The district court abused its discretion by failing to distinguish these burdens.” Second, the plaintiffs had originally sought this relief and did not get it in the district court and did not get clarification. The equities counseled against a last minute election change when plaintiffs could have sought this relief sooner.
No word yet on whether plaintiffs will go to the en banc 6th Circuit or the Supreme Court.
Calling the law “clearly invalid,” a federal judge in North Dakota today ruled that the state’s 100-year-old ban on election-day campaigning is unconstitutional.
The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by the Center for Competitive Politics, a pro-free speech group. The Center represents Gary Emineth, who wishes to post yard signs on his property, distribute fliers, and discuss the upcoming election with his neighbors. The North Dakota statute bans any person, on election day, from “in any manner trying to induce or persuade” others to support or oppose any candidate or ballot measure.
This ruling has got to be right under existing law.