Pennsylvania: National GOP group drops lawsuit threat over Pennsylvania’s special election | Tribune

The National Republican Congressional Committee will not file a lawsuit over “irregularities” the group said occurred in last week’s 18th Congressional District special election, a spokesman said Friday. Republican Rick Saccone on Wednesday conceded defeat in his race against Democrat Conor Lamb. Unofficial tallies show Lamb, 33, of Mt. Lebanon won by 755 votes. The NRCC, which poured more than $3 million into the race, said the day after the election that it was considering legal action over alleged glitches in electronic voting machines, reports from people who said they couldn’t find the right polling places and a Saccone attorney who had to get a signed authorization from the Republican Party before an Allegheny County elections official would let the attorney watch the vote-counting process.

Hawaii: State Supreme Court Dismisses ACLU Election Challenge | Honolulu Civil Beat

The Hawaii Supreme Court sided with the state today and dismissed an election challenge launched by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Big Island voters who were unable to cast ballots on Aug. 9 due to Tropical Storm Iselle. According to the Thursday ruling, the high court said it did not have jurisdiction over the constitutional questions raised by the ACLU. The dismissal also noted that the ACLU’s lawsuit, filed Aug. 21, was admittedly ““not a typical ‘election contest.’”

Voting Blogs: Analysis: McDaniel Likely to Lose #MSSEN Challenge | Election Law Blog

A press conference concluded a few minutes ago by the McDaniel campaign suggests that the campaign found far fewer illegal votes than the approximately 7,600 votes separating him from Sen. Thad Cochran in the MS Republican Senate primary.  Instead, it sounds like the campaign has alleged only 3,500 votes cast by voters who also (presumably illegally) voted in the earlier Democratic primary. There are 9,500 other votes said to be “irregular,” and 2,500 allegedly improper absentee ballots. Those numbers alone suggest there will not be enough to get a new election, unless the “irregularities” are serious enough to call the result in question. But that would not be impossible, depending on what the evidence shows. But the reason I expect McDaniel will likely lose is that he is not asking for a new election. Instead, he is asking for a remedy of having him declared the winner. He would apparently rely upon polling to show that Democrats who voted in the primary did not intend to vote for the eventual Republican nominee in the fall.  This relies upon a MS code provision saying that only those who will support the nominee in the general election can vote in the primary.

Voting Blogs: Virginia Attorney General Election: About That 500+ Vote Republican Pickup in Bedford County | BradBlog

Sometimes it’s a good idea to get a full explanation before these things become fodder in a contentious partisan legal election contest. So that’s what we’ve tried to do. Happily, the General Registrar of Bedford County, VA was more than willing to help.  … The contest is, for now, in the hands of the State Board of Elections which will issue its own official official certification of results on November 25th, after which the candidate declared the “loser” is almost certain to ask for a “recount” and potentially file an election contest thereafter, depending on the outcome. During the week-long roller coaster canvass by jurisdictions across Virginia following the November 5th election, there were a number of minor adjustments to local tallies as county and city election officials checked and double-checked results printed by touch-screen and paper ballot optical-scan tabulation computers from Election Night and then adjudicated provisional ballots for tally and inclusion in the final results. While most of the adjustments made during the week following the election were relatively small, each was of great significance in a race this tight. But there were three rather large changes to the results during the post-election canvass process — two were in the Democratic strongholds of Fairfax County and the city of Richmond, and one was in heavily Republican Bedford County. All of the large tabulation adjustments were said to have been caused by various combinations of computer tabulator and human error.

Virginia: The victor in Virginia’s attorney general race stands a chance of losing | MSNBC

Even if Democrat Mark Herring ends up with more votes than his Republican rival Mark Obenshain in the tightly contested Virginia attorney general’s race, he could still lose. Herring is currently ahead of Obenshain by a follicle–the current official count states that Herring has 164 more votes than Obenshain out of more than two million cast. A recount is all but guaranteed and litigation seems likely. But even if after the dust clears Herring remains in the lead, under Virginia law, Obenshain could contest the result in the Republican dominated Virginia legislature, which could declare Obenshain the winner or declare the office vacant and order a new election. “If they can find a hook to demonstrate some sort of irregularity, then there’s nothing to prevent them from saying our guy wins,” says Joshua Douglas, an election law expert and professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law.  “There’s no rules here, besides outside political forces and public scrutiny.” An election contest is a specific post-election procedure for disputing the official outcome of an election. Different states have different rules for election contests–some put them in the hands of the courts, others in the hands of the legislature. Obenshain couldn’t simply contest the election out of the blue. He’d have to argue that some sort of irregularity affected the result. Still, Virginia law is relatively vague in explaining what would justify an election contest, and historical precedent suggests that co-partisans in the legislature are unlikely to reach a decision that hurts their candidate.

Editorials: Virginia Attorney General Election: When voters don’t decide | Reuters

Voters decide who wins an election, right? Not necessarily. In fact, we may see partisan operatives determine the winner in the razor-thin race for Virginia’s attorney general. After the initial count, Democrat Mark Herring is ahead of Republican Mark Obenshain by a mere 164 votes out of 2.2 million. If Herring remains on top after a recount and any federal court litigation, then the next step is for the Republican candidate to initiate an “election contest” with the Virginia General Assembly. This election contest is a procedure in which the losing candidate disputes the certified results. States have varying ways to resolve these controversies — and most use a process that allows partisans to determine the ultimate winner. There are better solutions, however, than allowing a partisan legislature to decide. We can minimize ideology, actual or perceived, by creating a bipartisan entity that would resolve a post-election battle. Yet in Virginia an election contest goes to the General Assembly sitting as a joint session, with the speaker of the House of Delegates presiding. Republicans now control a majority of the Virginia General Assembly seats — and have been pushing through a socially conservative agenda.

Russia: Top court rules citizens can contest election results | RT

Russian Constitutional Court has confirmed that ordinary citizens can contest election results, but specified that this only concerns the particular constituencies in which they cast their votes. The top Russian court on Monday announced the decision of a major check into the Procedural Code and the federal laws concerning the elections and the guarantees of the voters’ rights. The move was prompted by an address from the plenipotentiary for Human Rights Vladimir Lukin of the Voronezh city branch of the opposition party Fair Russia, and also a group of citizens from the Voronezh Region and St. Petersburg city.

Voting Blogs: Who Decides a Post-Election Dispute? | ElectionLaw@Moritz

This post highlights a chart containing information about who would decide a post-election challenge in each of the fifty states, broken down by type of election. To access the chart, click here. For a summary and further analysis, read on. Doomsday scenarios abound regarding an election that might last into extra innings. What will happen if, on the morning of Wednesday, November 7, we do not know who won the presidential election, or other races? More menacingly, what happens if post-election challenges last several weeks, beyond the routine provisional ballot and recount procedures?

West Virginia: City Council dismisses election challenge  | The Charleston Gazette

Defeated mayoral candidate Janet “JT” Thompson’s quest to overturn the May 17 city election came to an abrupt end Thursday when Charleston City Council dismissed her challenge on multiple grounds.

Council members wasted little time considering Thompson’s June 3 Notice of Election Contest and later filings, especially since Thompson — as promised — skipped the court-like tribunal entirely.

Indiana: Suit calls for special election: Clarksville clerk-treasurer lost May race by 26 votes |

A hearing in Clark County’s Circuit Court on Wednesday alleged that the county’s electronic voting machines were inoperable in Clarksville during the May 3 primary election.

As a result Clarksville Clerk-Treasurer Gary Hall is asking that Clarksville have a special election to determine the winner of May’s Democratic clerk-treasurer primary. “We’ve asked for a new election on that particular race,” said Jack Vissing, Hall’s attorney.

Hall lost the Clarksville clerk-treasurer primary race to Bob Leuthart by 26 votes. Leuthart received 880 votes compared to Hall’s 854 votes.

West Virginia: Charleston’s new council to hear election challenge | The Charleston Gazette

The eight newly elected members of Charleston City Council will face an unusual task almost as soon as they’re sworn in June 21: deciding whether the recent election was held properly.

Janet “JT” Thompson, the Democrat challenger whom Danny Jones soundly defeated in winning his third term as mayor, filed a “notice of election contest” late Friday, alleging a number of irregularities in the May 17 municipal election. As far as City Attorney Paul Ellis can figure out, the new council will preside over Thompson’s protest.