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  • CRS/LII Annotated Constitution Twenty-Third Amendment
    shall be in addition to those appointed by the States but they shall be considered for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President to be electors appointed by a State and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelth article of amendment Section 2 The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation ENFRANCHISEMENT OF RESIDENTS OF DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA The purpose of this constitutional amendment is to provide the citizens of the District of Columbia with appropriate rights of voting in national elections for President and Vice President of the United States It would permit District citizens to elect Presidential electors who would be in addition to the electors from the States and who would participate in electing the President and Vice President The District of Columbia with more than 800 000 people has a greater number of persons than the population of each of 13 of our States District citizens have all the obligations of citizenship including the payment of Federal taxes of local taxes and service in our Armed Forces They have fought and died in every U S war since the District was founded Yet they cannot now vote in national elections because the Constitution has restricted that privi p 1988 lege to citizens who reside in States The resultant constitutional anomaly of imposing all the obligations of citizenship without the most fundamental of its privileges will be removed by the proposed constitutional amendment This amendment would change the Constitution only to the minimum extent necessary to give the District appropriate participation in national elections It would not make the District of Columbia a State It would not give the District of Columbia any other attributes of a State or change the constitutional

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/anncon/search/display.html?terms=elections&url=/anncon/html/amdt23_user.html (2012-11-09)
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  • CRS/LII Annotated Constitution Twenty-Fourth Amendment
    as a qualification was instituted in eleven States of the South following the end of Reconstruction although at the time of the ratification of this Amendment only five States still retained it 1 Congress viewed the qualification as an obstacle to the proper exercise of a citizen s franchise and expected its removal to provide a more direct approach to participation by more of the people in their government Congress similarly thought a constitutional amendment necessary 2 inasmuch as the qualifications had previously escaped constitutional challenge on several grounds 3 However not long after ratification of the Amendment Congress by statute had impuned the continuing validity of the poll tax as a p 1990 qualification in state elections 4 and the Supreme Court had voided it as a violation of the equal protection clause 5 In Harman v Forssenius 6 the Court struck down a Virginia statute which eliminated the poll tax as an absolute qualification for voting in federal elections and gave federal voters the choice either of paying the tax or of filing a certificate of residence six months before the election Viewing the latter requirement as imposing upon voters in federal elections an onerous procedural requirement which was not imposed on those who continued to pay the tax the Court unanimously held the law to conflict with the new Amendment by penalizing those who chose to exercise a right guaranteed them by the Amendment Footnotes 1 Harman v Forssenius 380 U S 528 538 40 543 44 1965 United States v Texas 252 F Supp 234 238 45 W D Tex three judge court aff d on other grounds 384 U S 155 1966 2 H R Rep No 1821 87th Cong 2d Sess 3 5 1962 3 Breedlove v Suttles 302 U S 277 1937 Saunders

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/anncon/search/display.html?terms=elections&url=/anncon/html/amdt24_user.html (2012-11-09)
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  • CRS/LII Annotated Constitution Twenty-Sixth Amendment
    United States or by any State on account of age Section 2 The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation THE EIGHTEEN YEAR OLD VOTE In extending the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in 1970 1 Congress included a provision lowering the age qualification to vote in all elections federal state and local to 18 2 In a divided decision the Supreme Court held that Congress was empowered to lower the age qualification in federal elections but voided the application of the provision in all other elections as beyond congressional power 3 Confronted thus with the possibility that they might have to maintain two sets of registration books and go to the expense of running separate election systems for federal elections and for all other elections the States were receptive to the proposing of an Amendment by Congress to establish a minimum age qualification at 18 for all elections and ratified it promptly 4 Footnotes 1 79 Stat 437 as extended and amended by 84 Stat 314 42 U S C Sec 1971 et seq 2 Title 3 84 Stat 318 42 U S C Sec 1973bb 3 Oregon v Mitchell 400 U S 112 1970

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/anncon/search/display.html?terms=elections&url=/anncon/html/amdt26_user.html (2012-11-09)
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  • BUSH v. GORE
    which indeed was the manner used by State legislatures in several States for many years after the Framing of our Constitution Id at 28 33 History has now favored the voter and in each of the several States the citizens themselves vote for Presidential electors When the state legislature vests the right to vote for President in its people the right to vote as the legislature has prescribed is fundamental and one source of its fundamental nature lies in the equal weight accorded to each vote and the equal dignity owed to each voter The State of course after granting the franchise in the special context of Article II can take back the power to appoint electors See id at 35 T here is no doubt of the right of the legislature to resume the power at any time for it can neither be taken away nor abdicated quoting S Rep No 395 43d Cong 1st Sess The right to vote is protected in more than the initial allocation of the franchise Equal protection applies as well to the manner of its exercise Having once granted the right to vote on equal terms the State may not by later arbitrary and disparate treatment value one person s vote over that of another See e g Harper v Virginia Bd of Elections 383 U S 663 665 1966 O nce the franchise is granted to the electorate lines may not be drawn which are inconsistent with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment It must be remembered that the right of suffrage can be denied by a debasement or dilution of the weight of a citizen s vote just as effectively as by wholly prohibiting the free exercise of the franchise Reynolds v Sims 377 U S 533 555 1964 There is no difference between the two sides of the present controversy on these basic propositions Respondents say that the very purpose of vindicating the right to vote justifies the recount procedures now at issue The question before us however is whether the recount procedures the Florida Supreme Court has adopted are consistent with its obligation to avoid arbitrary and disparate treatment of the members of its electorate Much of the controversy seems to revolve around ballot cards designed to be perforated by a stylus but which either through error or deliberate omission have not been perforated with sufficient precision for a machine to count them In some cases a piece of the card a chad is hanging say by two corners In other cases there is no separation at all just an indentation The Florida Supreme Court has ordered that the intent of the voter be discerned from such ballots For purposes of resolving the equal protection challenge it is not necessary to decide whether the Florida Supreme Court had the authority under the legislative scheme for resolving election disputes to define what a legal vote is and to mandate a manual recount implementing that definition The recount mechanisms implemented in response to the decisions of the Florida Supreme Court do not satisfy the minimum requirement for non arbitrary treatment of voters necessary to secure the fundamental right Florida s basic command for the count of legally cast votes is to consider the intent of the voter Gore v Harris So 2d at slip op at 39 This is unobjectionable as an abstract proposition and a starting principle The problem inheres in the absence of specific standards to ensure its equal application The formulation of uniform rules to determine intent based on these recurring circumstances is practicable and we conclude necessary The law does not refrain from searching for the intent of the actor in a multitude of circumstances and in some cases the general command to ascertain intent is not susceptible to much further refinement In this instance however the question is not whether to believe a witness but how to interpret the marks or holes or scratches on an inanimate object a piece of cardboard or paper which it is said might not have registered as a vote during the machine count The factfinder confronts a thing not a person The search for intent can be confined by specific rules designed to ensure uniform treatment The want of those rules here has led to unequal evaluation of ballots in various respects See Gore v Harris So 2d at slip op at 51 Wells J dissenting Should a county canvassing board count or not count a dimpled chad where the voter is able to successfully dislodge the chad in every other contest on that ballot Here the county canvassing boards disagree As seems to have been acknowledged at oral argument the standards for accepting or rejecting contested ballots might vary not only from county to county but indeed within a single county from one recount team to another The record provides some examples A monitor in Miami Dade County testified at trial that he observed that three members of the county canvassing board applied different standards in defining a legal vote 3 Tr 497 499 Dec 3 2000 And testimony at trial also revealed that at least one county changed its evaluative standards during the counting process Palm Beach County for example began the process with a 1990 guideline which precluded counting completely attached chads switched to a rule that considered a vote to be legal if any light could be seen through a chad changed back to the 1990 rule and then abandoned any pretense of a per se rule only to have a court order that the county consider dimpled chads legal This is not a process with sufficient guarantees of equal treatment An early case in our one person one vote jurisprudence arose when a State accorded arbitrary and disparate treatment to voters in its different counties Gray v Sanders 372 U S 368 1963 The Court found a constitutional violation We relied on these principles in the context of the Presidential selection process in

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/search/display.html?terms=Gore&url=/supct/html/00-949.ZPC.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Gerrymander | LII / Legal Information Institute
    political group an advantage over another a practice which often results in districts with bizarre or strange shapes Frequently referred to as political gerrymandering or jurisdictional gerrymandering see e g United States v Hays 515 US 737 1995 and Miller v Johnson 515 US 900 1995 See Elections Wex Toolbox Search WEX Donations cover only 20 of our costs Law about Articles from Wex House arrest International Traffic in Arms

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/gerrymander (2012-11-09)
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  • LII's Focus on Election 2000
    5 Introduction The Presidential election of 2000 was unique in recent history in the degree it exposed issues of election law and process and generated judicial proceedings All of this happened in an era when the Internet allowed swift public access to briefs oral argument orders and opinions Because Florida the state in the eye of this storm had already set a high standard in opening both trial and appellate proceedings to the public its performance during this period generated expectations that led the Supreme Court of the United States to unprecedented levels of transparency A brief summary of this remarkable record of the key judicial actions ending with December 12 5 4 decision by the U S Supreme is set out here along with the key documents in those actions key provisions of federal and state law and oral arguments Federal U S Supreme Court Bush v Gore Dec 12 decision Per curiam html pdf concurrence html pdf dissent html pdf dissent html pdf dissent html pdf dissent html pdf Dec 11 oral argument C Span streaming audio Key legal provisions Federal legislation on the election of the President U S Code Title 3 Chapt 1 Constitutional provisions governing election of the President Art II 1 original provision linked to amendments Briefs and other documents submitted on behalf of George W Bush pdf Brief for petitioners Table of authorities for brief for petitioners Appendix to brief for petitioners Brief for respondents Harris et al Brief for respondents Cruce et al in support of petitioners Brief for respondents Thrasher in support of petitioners Brief for respondents Carr in support of petitioners Appendix to brief for respondents Carr in support of petitioners Briefs and other documents submitted on behalf of Albert Gore Jr pdf Brief for respondent Gore Appendix to brief

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/background/election/ (2012-11-09)
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  • HAVA | LII / Legal Information Institute
    require that a new voter who registered by mail show identification the first time that they vote In addition as a result of HAVA a new federal voter registration form was created in order to make it easier for a new voters to register In addition if someone fills out a provisional ballot and it is rejected as a ballot for the current election it will serve as a voter registration form for the next election New voting equipment is required to give the voter a second chance meaning that if there is a possible mistake on the ballot they must be notified about it before leaving the polling place HAVA also calls for more voter education a Voters Bill of Rights to be posted in all polling places election day registration and the ability for anyone to request an absentee ballot for any reason Although many of the goals were set to be completed before the 2004 elections the ultimate goals of HAVA are set to be completed before the 2006 elections Election Assistance Commission The Election Assistance Commission was created in order to help facilitate federal elections The Commission is responsible for guiding states in their compliance with HAVA and helping to pursue the specific objectives that HAVA states The Commission is responsible for researching matters that relate to elections managing funds related to grants and other special projects related to HAVA developing a system for testing election systems throughout the country creating the aforementioned national voter registration form and creating annual progress reports for Congress menu of sources Federal Resources Full text of HAVA HAVA Implementation Timeline Joint Explanatory Statement on HAVA President Bush s statement upon signing HAVA into law Election Assistance Commission Federal Election Commission HAVA website Department of Justice HAVA website National Institute of

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/hAVA (2012-11-09)
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  • Executive power | LII / Legal Information Institute
    the president nominates judges to federal courts and justices to the United States Supreme Court can issue executive orders which have the force of law but do not have to be approved by congress can issue pardons for federal offenses can convene Congress for special sessions can veto legislation approved by Congress However the veto is limited It is not a line item veto meaning that he or she cannot veto only specific parts of legislation and it can be overridden by a two thirds vote by Congress delivers a State of the Union address annually to a joint session of Congress War Powers Congress holds the power to declare war As a result the president cannot declare war without their approval However as the Commander in Chief of the armed forces many presidents have sent troops to battle without an official war declaration ex Vietnam Korea The 1973 War Powers Act attempted to define when and how the president could send troops to battle by adding strict time frames for reporting to Congress after sending troops to war in addition to other measures Nominations The president is responsible for nominating candidates for the head positions of government offices A president will nominate cabinet officials and secretaries at the beginning of his or her presidency and will fill vacancies as necessary In addition the president is responsible for nominating Federal Circuit Court judges and Supreme Court justices and choosing the chief justice These nominations must be confirmed by the Senate Executive Orders In times of emergency the president can override congress and issue executive orders with almost limitless power Abraham Lincoln used an executive order in order to fight the Civil War Woodrow Wilson issued one in order to arm the United States just before it entered World War I

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/executive_power (2012-11-09)
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