Monthly Archives: October 2012

Breaking News: 6th Circuit Stays Latest District Court Order on Provisional Ballots

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.

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“Court Rules North Dakota Campaign Ban Unconstitutional”


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.

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