PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION LAW/The Recount
   ... edited by Tony Sutin, Dean and Assoc. Professor, Appalachian School of Law

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[last updated and archived December 14, 2000] We welcome your feedback and questions: e-mail JURIST@law.pitt.edu
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Latest Legal News [December 13/00, 2:20 PM ET]
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Statutes and Cases

Elections in the state of Florida are governed by the provisions of Title IX of the Florida Code. In the context of the disputed US Presidential election, the key Title IX provisions in play are Sections 101, 102, and 104. To view the full text of these and other Title IX sections, click on the links below.

    Title IX, 2000 Florida Statutes: Electors & Elections

  • Chapter 101 Voting Methods and Procedure
    [ballots, absentee voting, etc.]

  • Chapter 102 Conducting Elections and Ascertaining the Results

  • Chapter 104 Election Code: Violations and Penalties

         Other Title IX provisions:

  • Chapter 97 Qualification and Registration of Electors
  • Chapter 98 Registration Office, Officers, and Procedures
  • Chapter 99 Candidates, Campaign Expenses, and Contesting Elections
  • Chapter 100 General, Primary, Special, Bond, and Referendum Elections
  • Chapter 103 Presidential Electors, Political Parties, Executive Committees and Members
  • Chapter 105 Nonpartisan Elections for Judicial Officers
  • Chapter 106 Campaign Financing

         See also:

  • Florida Administrative Code, Chapter 1S-2 Elections

    Cases

  • Joley v. Whatley, Supreme Court of Florida, Special Division B (October 17, 1952) [history of absentee voting]

  • Nelson v. Robinson, 301 So. 2d 508, 1974 Fla. App. LEXIS 8601 (1974) [ballot confusion]
    "Keeping in mind that we are talking about a claim made after an election, and not one which may have been enforceable before, if a candidate appears on the ballot in such a position that he can be found by the voters upon a responsible study of the ballot, then such voters have been afforded a full, free and open opportunity to make their choice for or against that particular candidate; and the candidate himself has no constitutional right to a particular spot on the ballot which might make the voters' choice easier. His constitutional rights in the matter end when his name is placed on the ballot. Thereafter, the right is in the voters to have a fair and reasonable opportunity to find it; and as to this, it has been observed that the constitution intended that a voter search for the name of the candidate of his choice and to express his choice for that candidate without regard to others on the ballot. Furthermore, it assumes his ability to read and his intelligence to indicate his choice with the degree of care commensurate with the solemnity of the occasion."

  • Boardman v. Esteva, Supreme Court of Florida No. 46282 (September 30, 1975) [election contests]
    "In summary, we hold that the primary consideration in an election contest is whether the will of the people has been effected. In determining the effect of irregularities on the validity of absentee ballots case, the following factors shall be considered:

    (a) the presence or absence of fraud, gross negligence, or intentional wrongdoing;
    (b) whether there has been substantial compliance with the essential requirements of the absentee voting law; and
    (c) whether the irregularities complained of adversely affect the sanctity of the ballot and the integrity of the election.

    The underlying concern of the election officials in making the initial determination as to the validity of the absentee ballots is whether they were cast by qualified, registered voters, who were entitled to vote absentee and who did so in a proper manner."

  • Bolden v. Potter, Supreme Court of Florida No. 62461 (June 28, 1984)

  • Beckstrom v. Volusia County Canvassing Board, Supreme Court of Florida No. 91642 (March 19, 1998)

    Law of Other States

    While not technically governing the Florida situation, the election and recount law of other states (in particular Texas) has been discussed by parties and courts involved in the Florida recount, as both a legal and political standard of comparison.

  • Texas Election Code, Chapter 127 (Processing Electronic Voting System Results) - s. 130, Manual Counting

    Federal Law

    The provisions of these instruments relate primarily to voting rights and the operation of the Electoral College.

  • Constitution of the United States
  • U.S. Code, Title 3, Chapter 1 - Presidential Elections and Vacancies

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Departments and Officials

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More Presidential Election Law...

HOSTED BY:

U. of Pgh. School of Law

Tony Sutin is Dean and Associate Professor of Law at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia. He previously practiced election law and litigated ballot access, voting rights and campaign finance issues at Hogan & Hartson L.L.P. in Washington, D.C., where he represented the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton/Gore92 campaign, the Tsongas for President Committee, the Presidential Inaugural Committee and others.  He has served on the Executive Committee of the Campaign Ethics Committee of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and on the Executive Committee of the National Lawyers Council of the Democratic National Committee. He is a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School.