Michigan provisional ballot ruling [US DC]
Michigan provisional ballot ruling [US DC]

Bay County Democratic Party et al. v. Land, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Judge David Lawson, October 19, 2004 [holding that ballots cast in the correct city or township but wrong voting precinct in Michigan must be counted, overruling a state decision to only count provisional ballots cast in the proper precinct]. Excerpt:

After reviewing the parties' submissions and considering the evidence, the Court concludes that the plaintiffs have standing to assert their claims, HAVA creates individual rights enforceable through Section 1983, Congress has provided a scheme under HAVA in which a voter's right to have a provisional ballot for federal offices tabulated is determined by State law governing eligibility, and the defendants' directives for determining eligibility on the basis of precinct-based residency are inconsistent with State and federal election law. The Court finds that Michigan election law defines voter qualifications in terms of the voter's home jurisdiction, and a person who casts a provisional ballot within his or her jurisdiction is entitled under federal law to have his or her votes for federal offices counted if their eligibility to vote in that election can be verified.

Read the full text of the opinion here [PDF]. Reported in JURIST's Paper Chase here.