September 15, 2003


Appeals court postpones Oct. 7 recall vote (The Associated Press, September 15, 2003)

A federal appeals court postponed California's Oct. 7 gubernatorial recall election, ruling the historic vote cannot proceed as scheduled because some votes would be cast using outmoded punch-card ballot machines.

In what was the last of about a dozen legal challenges trying to delay or thwart the recall to unseat Gov. Gray Davis, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday it is unacceptable that six counties would be using outdated punch-card ballots, the type that sparked the "hanging chads" litigation in Florida during the 2000 presidential election. [...]

It was not immediately clear how the decision, if it survives, would impact the campaign in California's first voter-driven election to unseat its chief executive. The court stayed imposition of its decision for a week to allow time for appeals to the Supreme Court.

One possibility is that the nation's largest and most liberal federal appeals court might move the election to the next regularly scheduled primary on March 2.

Okay, for the contest below, you also have to predict when the election will be...

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 15, 2003 1:47 PM

Anyone else think this is liberal-judge retaliation for the Bush v. Gore decision?

By pushing the logic of the majority's holding to the point of absurdity, they may force the Court to reject the equal-protection reasoning of that decision. That would serve to partially discredit the ruling - at least the Breyer-Souter-Kennedy-O'Connor portion of it - making it look like a one-time, ad hoc ruling.

Posted by: pj at September 15, 2003 6:09 PM

Shouldn't Davis's own election be invalidated?

Posted by: oj at September 15, 2003 6:18 PM

All voting systems introduce potential technical, random (unbiased) inconsistencies in results among voting centers (within and across state lines). The inconsistencies being introduced by the Florida Supreme Court rulings start out with selective recounts (some counties, not all; parts of counties, not all -- remember Dade County and the exclusion of the Cuban portions because the recount would have increased valid votes); directionally biased (allow humans to discern intent in voting, even where none may have existed)recounts; and the whole unfairness of ex-post laws not enacted by a legislature.

But the main difference may be that the majority (in this case, of five) held by the principle that existing Law (here the Constitution) did not take it lightly to shifting deadlines (the day the Electors are suppose to convene) to accommodate the plaintiffs ad nauseum.

Posted by: MG at September 15, 2003 7:11 PM