Hunter v. Hamilton County Board of Elections (Susan J. Dlott, S.D. Ohio 1:10-cv-820)
In the 2010 election for Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge, 23 votes separated the two candidates with the validity of many provisional ballots unresolved. The trailing candidate filed a federal action to expand the number of provisional ballots deemed valid when she learned that some, but not all, cast in the wrong precinct would be counted if they were cast in the wrong precinct because of poll-worker error. The district court ordered an investigation into which ballots were cast in the wrong precinct because of erroneous instructions from poll workers. A circuit judge stayed the order, but a full panel dissolved the stay one week later. Litigation continued for 18 months, and then the plaintiff joined the juvenile court bench.
Subject: Provisional ballots. Topics: Provisional ballots; election errors; enjoining certification; interlocutory appeal; equal protection; matters for state courts.
One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.