On June 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, issued a short, thoughtless opinion in Libertarian Party v District of Columbia Board of Elections. It says that because the U.S. Supreme Court in 1992 said that the U.S. Constitution does not require states to print write-in space on ballots, therefore it follows logically that if governments do allow write-in space, the same government can refuse to count them.
The decision also misrepresents the facts in the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision that said write-in space can be banned. In that case, Burdick v Takushi, the plaintiff was a Democratic voter who lived in a district in which no Democrat had run for the legislature. The voter, Alan Burdick, said he wanted to cast a write-in vote for a Democrat for that office. But the June 5, 2012 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals falsely alleges that Burdick filed the claim because he wanted to write-in Donald Duck. This mistake is symptomatic of the carelessness of the panel’s decision.