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Election Law

In Hard-Fought Presidential Race, More Ballot Battles are Likely

Posted Oct 31, 2008 7:27 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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If the presidential ballot count in Ohio is close on Tuesday, lawyers who specialize in election law are likely to busy next week.

Court challenges are expected in hard-fought states, especially over provisional ballots and questionable voter-registration status, and Ohio appears likely to be front-and-center in the legal fray, reports the New York Times.

In fact, in an effort to position themselves favorably, some party officials are already filing so-called placeholder lawsuits in states including Colorado and Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, voter-registration issues in Ohio have already been litigated up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In Colorado, a federal judge ruled today that the secretary of state must stop purging the voter-registration rolls so close to the Tuesday election, in apparent violation of a settlement reached earlier this week with advocacy groups that objected to the purging, reports the Denver Post.

"The settlement in the court case, reached Wednesday, requires [Secretary of State Mike] Coffman to put together a list the day after the election of voters whose registrations were canceled within the 90 days before the election," the newspaper writes. "Voters on that list who show up to vote on Election Day will cast provisional ballots, and those ballots will be given the presumption of eligibility, which gives them a clearer path to being counted than other provisional ballots."

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "US Supreme Court Axes TRO in Ohio GOP Suit Over Newly Registered Voters"

ABAJournal.com: "GOP Fundraiser Drops Ohio Voter Registration Suit"

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