Friday, October 17, 2008

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Pt. 1: The Roundup.

For those of us watching the various court rulings on the ORP/Jennifer Brunner voter matching case, the last week has been as dizzying as it is for those of us watching the stock market. Another turn this afternoon as the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the Sixth Circuit's en banc ruling. The tally so far is as follows:

District Court: Temporary Restraining Order [TRO] granted
Sixth Circuit Panel: TRO vacated
Sixth Circuit en banc: TRO reinstated
Supreme Court: TRO vacated

Jill has been following the story all day. You can read the Court's per curiam opinion here. As Jill found, Lyle Deniston comments on SCOTUS blog and Rich Hasen on Election Law Blog. In addition ACS Blog (that's American Constitutional Society) has a very pointed post accusing the Sixth Circuit decision of applying a double standard regarding private rights of action. Orin Kerr promises to blog more from the right, although the comments he elicits from Rampant Voter Fraud Guy are worth perusing.

Nothing yet from OSU election law expert Daniel Tokaji who apparently posts about once per season. But his last extant post from July predicted just this problem. A worthwhile point -- if the state's leading election law specialist was flagging the problem in July, why exactly did the ORP start its lawsuit in October?

On the fact side of the dispute, Tokaji's post notes the various reasons why the high number of computer mismatches. NY Times and Tapped both offer updated versions of the same story, both quoting Tokaji. Also, Tokaji notes that the central state database is supposed to be something that makes voting easier, not something that one or the other party can uses as a vote-caging tool.

Finally, FiveThirtyEight predicts that the effect in the end is likely to be less than one percent either way.

More to come . . .


David Edmiston said...

Definitely good news -- I've been disgusted by the Ohio Republicans' attempts to suppress voter turnout.

From what I'm hearing, early voting turnout has been heavily in Obama's favor, so that's excellent news. I was holding off on voting early since I had to update my registration (I moved after the primary) and didn't want to give the Republicans a chance to play shenanigans with my vote, but now that this appears to be resolved I may go ahead and beat the crowds on election day.

Anonymous said...

Just email Tokaji. He's very good about writing back promptly in my experience.


ProfsrLee said...

Pho, Dan Tokaji has been very busy--he has filed amicus briefs in several of the cases around the country, including the Ohio case, regarding voter eligibility under HAVA. A little while back Dan came to speak at Akron in the Bush v. Gore symposium--I think that was when he was a Southern California ACLU attorney and not yet a law professor at OSU.

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