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Sat Nov 9, 2013, 08:43 PM

A Spotlight on the Virginia AG contest through the lens of the Equal Protection Clause

Regarding the Attorney General election in Virginia, I have a question. Please keep in mind I do not live in Virginia and I know nothing about the rules outlined in the Commonwealth's Constitution.

It appears Fairfax County is applying a caveat to the authenticity of provisional ballots cast in that contest. One article I just read on this site refers to it as a "new" rule in which voters who did in fact cast provisional ballots must show up to authenticate the ballot if he or she wants it counted.

If Fairfax County applies this rule, and other counties in the Commonwealth did not, would that not be a violation of the Equal Protection Law? Did not in fact an attorney for George W. Bush* argue that it was "a violation of the Equal Protection Law if counties differed at all in how they interpreted the intent of a voter." That attorney was Barry Richards and this was reported by David Bois in his book "Courting Justice" at pages 423-424.

Additionally, in the Supreme Court, Bush's attorneys argued the Florida Supreme Court's decision violated 3 USC Section 5 "which gives conclusive effect to state court determinations only if those determinations are made 'pursuant to . . . laws enacted prior to' Election Day." (at page 440). And while the opinion of the majority did try to limit the application of this provision to that one decision when it ruled for George W. Bush*, we all remember Justice Stevens words in his dissent and realize that without complete certainty as to the identity of the winner, the "loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation's confidence ... of the rule of law." See page 450 of "Courting Justice."

NBC News has reported that this rule that voters who cast provisional ballots must personally contact their local Boards of Election in order to have their votes counted. Again, NBC News has also stated that:

"The attorney general is essentially the CEO of the state government law office, supervising more than 400 lawyers and support staff. The position also is historically a stepping stone to a run for governor." I am sure we all know who that Attorney General is.

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/New-Absentee-Votes-Could-Swing-Va-AG-Race-to-Herring-231287821.html

There are just too many things that do not pass the smell test in this Absentee Ballot counting process. My hope is that the attorneys in Virginia and in the Department of Justice are carefully watching this process and that the people of Virginia STAND UP for the integrity of that process.

What do you think?

Sam

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Reply A Spotlight on the Virginia AG contest through the lens of the Equal Protection Clause (Original post)
Samantha Nov 2013 OP
Name removed Nov 2013 #1
StrayKat Nov 2013 #2
Samantha Nov 2013 #3
StrayKat Nov 2013 #4
Samantha Nov 2013 #5

Response to Samantha (Original post)


Response to Samantha (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2013, 09:07 PM

2. I don't have an answer to this, but. . .

Someone who is involved with the election tweeted this:

Brian W. Schoeneman ‏@BrianSchoeneman 5h

.@energydonk @notlarrysabato To be clear, this wasn't an SBE change - they believe this has always been their policy.

.@energydonk @notlarrysabato This was reminder guidance to localities. Not every locality had our past practice.

.@icanhasbailout @energydonk @notlarrysabato There's a legal disagreement over whether it was discretionary or not.

@icanhasbailout @energydonk @notlarrysabato I've already notified SBE we'll be seeking an AG opinion on it after the election.

https://twitter.com/BrianSchoeneman/status/399265036339662851

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Response to StrayKat (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 9, 2013, 09:14 PM

3. I don't have the answer either but NBC reports it as a "new" rule

Thanks for sharing that information. I do note that last bit refers to seeking an AG opinion on it after the election. I think a legitimate opinion will have to go beyond Cuccinelli's office, don't you?

Sam

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Response to Samantha (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 9, 2013, 09:22 PM

4. I'm not sure.

The State said before the election that it wasn't a conflict of interest for Cuccinelli to preside over an election that he was running in (*eye roll*), but made some mention of Cuccinelli recusing himself from investigating potential election violations. http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/latest-news/cuccinelli-no-conflict-for-ag-s-office-to-preside-over/article_0f3cde5c-3bf9-11e3-a2fc-0019bb30f31a.html

But, Cuccinelli has a history of ignoring big conflicts of interest. We'll see. . .

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Response to StrayKat (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 9, 2013, 11:21 PM

5. I think the "new" rule will be challenged if the outcome is suspect

I just don't understand how a Democrat could legitimately lose in Fairfax County.

Sam

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