PAPER CHASE

ELECTION 2004 LIVE COVERAGE ARCHIVE


Wednesday, November 3

Election watch ~ Ohio, provisional ballots key to outcome  
Chris Buell at 8:00 AM

[JURIST Election Special] Bringing to a close JURIST's live all-night election coverage, here's an overview of some of the remaining issues as the nation awaits the final outcome of a tight presidential election.... Ohio remains the focus of attention this morning, as the election results have not been called there. Litigation over voting in the state remained unabated through the day, including a lawsuit over long lines in Franklin County that went to the 6th Circuit. The major legal issue in the Ohio election is provisional ballots and how they will affect the outcome there. Reports indicate that Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell has said that provisional ballots will not be counted for 11 days. A final figure on the number of provisional ballots in the state is not yet available (the Secretary of State's office has this running tally), with some estimates as high as 250,000. The current vote margin has Bush ahead by 136,221 votes. Election Law @ Moritz has this analysis of the provisional ballot issue. The Kerry campaign has pledged not to concede until all votes are counted, which could result in a replay of some of the same issues as the 2000 election. The Federal Election Commission has more on the Help America Vote Act of 2002, which mandated provisional ballots for voters whose registration was in doubt.



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Update on possible lawsuits in Ohio, elsewhere  
Gretchen Moore at 7:53 AM

[JURIST Election Special] 7:53 AM ET - Election law specialists say Republicans or Democrats could file more vote-related lawsuits Wednesday. The threshold question in the Ohio race is whether there are enough votes in question to jeopardize the lead President Bush holds over Senator Kerry in the state. Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell said early Wednesday that the number of provisional ballots in the state could be as high as 250,000, or much lower. Jennifer Palmieri, a spokeswoman for Kerry in Ohio, said: "We think that a good bit of those voters will be our voters." The Bush campaign has dismissed this claim as "desperate." AP has more.

Meanwhile, lawyers sent by the parties to other battleground states had very little to do, as the voting process there was relatively uneventful. In Florida, as noted earlier in JURIST's Paper Chase, the American Civil Liberties Union asked that Florida absentee ballots mailed within the United States be subject to the same deadline, Nov. 12, as overseas ballots.In Pennsylvania, Republicans went to federal court Tuesday to get a list of everyone who received an absentee ballot and to ask for more time to investigate whether any absentee ballots are illegitimate.



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Gubernatorial wrap-up: ten of eleven races called  
Gretchen Moore at 7:12 AM

[JURIST Election Special] 7:12 AM ET - CNN is reporting that ten of the eleven gubernatorial races across the country have been called; Washington is too close to call at this time.

GOP Governors include Indiana's Mitch Daniels over Democrat Joe Kernan, and North Dakota Republican Governor John Hoeven over Democratic challenger Joe Starom. In Vermont, Republican Governor Jim Douglas won over Democratic challenger Peter Clavelle. In Missouri, the Republican Secretary of State, Matt Blunt, led Democratic State Auditor Claire McCaskill. Finally, in Utah, it was Republican Jon Huntsman over former law school dean Scott Matheson, a Democrat.

Democrats took the Governor's office in West Virginia (Democrat Joe Manchin won over Republican Monty Warner) and North Carolina, where Democratic Gov. Mike Easley won a close race against Republican Patrick Ballantine. In Montana, Democrat Brian Schweitzer prevailed over Republican Secretary of State Bob Brown. In New Hampshire, Democratic businessman John Lynch won over Republican incumbent Craig Benson. In Delaware, Democratic Gov. Ruth Ann Minner led Republican challenger Bill Lee.

Washington state is still too close to call.

Priot to Tuesday's vote Republicans held 28 governor's mansions and Democrats 22, and political pundits predicted there would be little if any shift in that balance of power. CNN has more, including candidate profiles.



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Ballot issues ~ AK won't legalize pot, CA voters say no to 3 strikes limits, yes to DNA samples, stem cell research  
Jeannie Shawl at 6:33 AM

[JURIST Election Special] Updated results are now available on several ballot initiatives followed during tonight's election coverage on JURIST's Paper Chase:

Alaska voters considered a measure legalizing marijuana. An early lead for supporters of legalization evaporated as more returns came in. With 96% of precincts reporting:

Yes - 103,440 (43%)
No - 136, 218 (57%)

Oregon voters considered Measure 35, limiting damages in medical malpractice. With 88% of precincts reporting:

Yes - 735,068 (49.95%)
No - 735,563 (50.05%)

California voters considered Proposition 66 (limits on "three strikes"), Proposition 69 (DNA sample collection) and Proposition 71 (bonds for stem cell research). With 92% of precincts reporting, it appears that the DNA sample and stem cell research measures have passed but that California will not be limiting its current three strikes law. An almost even split on the issue ultimately turned to "No" as the ballots were counted:

66 (3 Strikes Limits): Yes - 4,314,263 (46.9%); No: 4,876,217 (53.1%)
69 (DNA Samples): Yes - 5,549,821 (61.7%); No: 3,451,515 (38.3%)
71 (Stem Cell Research): Yes - 5,443,799 (59.3%); No: 3,738,259 (40.7%)

Nevada voters decided questions on penalizing lawyers involved in frivolous lawsuits and voting by "idiots or insane persons."

Question 5 (penalizing lawyers): Yes - 292,548 (36.12%); No: 494,598 (61.06%)
Question 7 (voting by "idiots"): Yes - 416,272 (52.53%); No: 349,955 (44.16%)

State constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage (and in some states, civil unions) passed in all 11 states considering the issue. Opponents to the amendments were most hopeful that the measure would be defeated in Oregon, but the latest results, with 88% of precincts reporting, show:

Yes - 862,945 (57%)
No - 655,055 (43%)



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Lawyers head to OH; Democrats refuse to concede defeat  
Gretchen Moore at 6:23 AM

[JURIST Election Special] 6:23 AM EST - Lawyers for President Bush headed to Ohio early this morning, which will most likely be the scene of a court battle over the of tens of thousands of uncounted ballots cast by people who would otherwise have been turned away from the polls for not being on the voter rolls. Democrats have thousands of lawyers in Ohio already. AP has more. Read an analysis of provisional ballots issue in Ohio by Daniel Tokaji at Moritz College of Law.

6:31 AM EST - White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card has claimed that the "President has won the state of Ohio." Democrats refuse to concede defeat there.

6:33 AM EST - As reported earlier, Republicans have renewed their majority in the House, extending their decade-long hold on that body for another two years. CNN is reporting that Republicans now hold 228 seats (218 needed for the majority); Democrats have 199. In the Senate, CNN projects a stronger Republican grip. If the projections hold, Republicans would have 55 seats, the Democrats 44 and one independent.



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State overview: Bush camp confident, but several states in the balance  
Gretchen Moore at 6:00 AM

[JURIST Election Special] 6:00 AM ET - Election overview: CNN has projected Kerry wins in California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

Bush has been projected to win Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

In the balance:
  • Ohio - Secretary of State Ken Blackwell says that, by law, provisional and absentee ballots would not be counted until 11 days after the election.
  • New Mexico - amidst heavy turnout, that state will not release presidential election results until later Wednesday because thousands of absentee ballots remain uncounted, according to a spokesman for the secretary of state.
  • Iowa - here there were reports of broken machines, a delay in opening absentee ballots and apparent fatigue. This will delay a report of the final count until some time Wednesday, elections officials have said. The secretary of state's office reported a record 441,911 absentee ballots had been returned by late Tuesday afternoon.



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BREAKING NEWS ~ White House: Bush wins Ohio, re-election  
Jeannie Shawl at 5:46 AM

[JURIST Election Special] 5:46 AM ET - AP is reporting that White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card has asserted that President Bush has won in Ohio and has won re-election. President Bush himself has not make an appearance, although one had been anticipated earlier.

5:57 AM ET - CNN quotes Card as saying "we are convinced President Bush has won reelection with at least 286 Electoral College votes."



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Over 135,000 OH provisional ballots cast  
Jeannie Shawl at 5:37 AM

[JURIST Election Special] 5:37 AM ET - The tally of provisional ballots cast in Ohio has climbed to 135,149, according to the OH Secretary of State website, now exceeding Bush's lead over Kerry in the state. Bloomberg has more on the impact of provisional ballots in Ohio.



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New Mexico stops counting for the night  
Jeannie Shawl at 5:00 AM

[JURIST Election Special] 5:00 AM ET - NBC is reporting that New Mexico elections officials have stopped counting ballots for the night. With 99% of precincts reporting:

Bush - 333,525 (50%)
Kerry - 322,571 (49%)

Earlier this morning, there were reports that Bush would declare victory in the election if New Mexico is called for Bush.

5:05 AM ET - Some voters in Ohio counties were confused about whether or not they could vote for Ralph Nader, according to a Columbus Dispatch report. Nader was ordered off the ballot over a month ago, but his name appeared on Ohio ballots. Some elections officials decided not to remove Nader's name from the ballot, but others decided to cover the name.

5:12 AM ET - Election Law @ Moritz now has analysis of how and when provisional ballots will be counted in Ohio. Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell issued a directive last week on provisional ballots. The clarity of the directive is the subject of a lawsuit filed Tuesday (Schering v. Blackwell - complaint here [PDF]).



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PROJECTION ~ Kerry wins Wisconsin  
Jeannie Shawl at 4:46 AM

[JURIST Election Special] 4:46 AM ET - AP is projecting that Kerry has carried Wisconsin, with its 10 electoral votes. This bring electoral college totals to Bush, 271 (including OH and NV) and Kerry 252.



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95,000 provisional ballots cast in OH; Bush leads in OH over 170,000  
Jeannie Shawl at 4:30 AM

[JURIST Election Special] 4:30 AM ET - Provisional ballots cast in Ohio now total 95,649, according to the OH Secretary of State website. Current results in Ohio:

Bush 2,747,992 (51.36%)
Kerry 2,576 459 (48.16%)

Bush leads by 171,533 votes in Ohio.

4:42 AM ET - The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell has estimated that 175,000 provisional ballots are outstanding. The Enquirer also reports that with 99% of precincts reporting, Bush leads Kerry by about 144,000 votes.



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Kerry campaign says Ohio vote count not complete  
Jeannie Shawl at 4:07 AM

[JURIST Election Special] 4:07 AM ET - Kerry Campaign Manager Mary Beth Cahill has released a statement on the Kerry-Edwards website that "The vote count in Ohio has not been completed. There are more than 250,000 remaining votes to be counted. We believe when they are, John Kerry will win Ohio."

4:12 AM ET - Current projected electoral college totals: Bush 271 (including OH and NV), Kerry 242. Remaining uncalled states (ECV): Wisconsin (10), Iowa (7), New Mexico (5). Iowa has stopped counting votes for the night.



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PROJECTION ~ Daschle loses South Dakota Senate race  
Jeannie Shawl at 4:00 AM

[JURIST Election Special] 4:00 AM ET - AP is reporting that Democrat Tom Daschle has been defeated by Republican John Thune in the South Dakota Senate race, marking the first time in 52 years that a party leader has been defeated.



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Bush may announce victory  
Thomas Bird at 3:33 AM

[JURIST Election Special] 3:38 AM ET - CBS News is saying that sources inside the White House say that if New Mexico is called for Bush, Bush will declare victory in the Presidential election.

3:52 AM ET - NBC News reports that the two Senators from Ohio, both Republican, have called on Kerry to concede the election.



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Bush margin in OH may exceed number of provisional ballots  
Thomas Bird at 3:00 AM

[JURIST Election Special] 3:00 AM ET - As OH precinct reports come close to 100%, the conventional wisdom seems to be that the Bush margin of victory may outstrip the number of potential Kerry votes to be found in provisional ballots. The OH Secretary of State has announced that they will begin counting the number of provisional ballots at 10 AM.

3:15 AM ET - AP calls Nevada for Bush.

3:16 AM ET - Iowa has stopped counted for the night. With 98% of precincts reporting:

Bush - 733,506 - 50%
Kerry - 720,973 - 49%

3:25 AM ET - According to OH law, provisional ballots will not judged for validity until 11 days after the election. Once all valid votes are counted, if the race is within 1/4 of 1% of the total vote, and automatic recount occurs. Given the heavy usage of punch card voting machines in OH counties, should a recount occur, the US will once again be looking at "chads". More on OH election law and various outcome scenerios at the OSU Moritz College of Law site here.



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Bush retains lead in OH  
Thomas Bird at 2:30 AM

[JURIST Election Special] 2:35 AM ET - With 95.19% of precincts reporting in OH, the totals are:

Bush - 2,668,988 - 51.325%
Kerry - 2,506,083 - 48.19%
Difference: 162,905

According to the OH Secretary of State website, only 36,932 provisional ballots had been issued to counties before the election. The OH Secretary of State does not believe that the number of provisional ballots ultimately number more than 100,000.

2:42 AM ET - NBC News calls Hawaii for Kerry.

2:49 AM ET - CBS, Fox and CNN call Michigan for Kerry.



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Ballot issues ~ Alaska going to pot, California three strikes limitation in the balance  
Bernard Hibbitts at 2:26 AM

[JURIST Election Special] With over 101 of 119 precincts now reporting in Alaska, the breakdown on that state's Proposition 2, legalizing marijuana, is running significantly in favor:

YES 46087
NO 33569

Read a backgrounder on Proposition 2 here [PDF].

In Oregon, the lead in the Measure 35 vote on limiting damages in medical malpractice cases has shifted back to the YES side, but it's still too close to call:

Yes Votes 627,719 50.24%
No Votes 621,692 49.76%

In the meantime the state's same-sex marraige ban appears to be on its way into the constitution:

Yes Votes 723,517 56.55%
No Votes 555,997 43.45%

In California, over 46% of precincts are now reporting. The breakdown of votes for Propositons 66 *limits on "three strikes"), 69 (DNA sample collection) and 71 (bonds for stem cell research) is:

66 3 Strikes Limits 2,432,006 50.6 2,379,019 49.4
69 DNA Samples 2,941,383 62.4 1,777,612 37.6
71 Stem Cell Research 2,851,776 59.4 1,950,753 40.6

Obviously Proposition 66 is way too close to call at this time.



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Republicans gain in House and Senate  
Thomas Bird at 2:00 AM

[JURIST Election Special] 2:00 AM ET - AP is reporting that Republicans have picked up at least 3 Senate seats, including the one held by Daschle of South Dakota. AP is also projecting a possible total of 232 for Republicans in the House.

2:15 AM ET - Kerry camp announces that it will not concede as long as ballots remain to be counted. They point to the races in OH, IA and WI as being too close to concede tonight.

2:18 AM ET - JURIST commentator Professor William Ross of Alabama's Cumberland Law School, Samford University William Ross writes: "Here's why Bush is almost certain to win Ohio: With only 200,000 votes uncounted, Bush leads by 120,000, which means that Kerry would need to win 80 percent of the remaining votes (160,000 to 40,000) in order to pull ahead. Since nearly all the precincts from heavily Cuyahoga County have now reported and the uncounted votes are mostly in Hamilton County, where the vote is divided, this is unlikely."

2:20 AM ET - Current projected electoral college totals: Bush 269 (including OH), Kerry 221. Remaining uncalled states (ECV): Michigan (17), Wisconsin (10), Iowa (7), New Mexico (5), Nevada (5), Hawaii (4).

2:27 AM ET - Edwards speaking to supporters in Boston: "We've waited four years...we can wait one more night...". He said the campaign would insist that "every vote count, and every vote be counted".

2:29 AM ET - JURIST commentator William Ross writes: "New Mexico almost surely will fall to Bush because Bush has a lead of 30,000 with only 35,000 votes uncounted. Kerry would therefore need to win at least 85 percent of the remaining votes there. Bush is likely to carry Iowa because he leads there by 11,000, with 60,000 uncounted. Kerry would therefore need to win 60 percent of the remaining votes."



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PROJECTION ~ Minnesota called for Kerry  
D. Wes Rist at 1:50 AM

[JURIST Election Special] 1:52 AM ET - CBS News has called Minnesota's 10 electoral votes for Kerry.



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PROJECTION ~ Ohio called for Bush  
D. Wes Rist at 1:05 AM

[JURIST Election Special]1:00 AM ET - NBC News has called the 20 electoral votes of Ohio for Bush, putting the election as a whole heavily in his favor.

1:03 AM ET - NBC News has called Alaska for Bush, adding its 3 electoral votes to his total, putting him at 269, 1 shy of the 270 needed to win.

1:17 AM ET - Fox News has joined NBC News in calling Ohio and Alaska for Bush.

1:22 AM ET - CNN.com has called New Hampshire for Kerry, adding its 4 electoral votes to give him a CNN projected total of 200.

1:30 AM ET - NBC News has called Washington state for Kerry, adding 11 electoral votes to his total.



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200+ votes nullified in Ohio  
D. Wes Rist at 1:00 AM

[JURIST Election Special] Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell has nullified 233 punch card votes after a poll worker, attempting to relieve voting congestion, took a punch machine from Precinct 3B for his Precinct 3A voters. The ballots for the two precints are different however, with different candidates at the top of the ballot in each precinct. Jake Fashner, a spokesman for Blackwell, said that copies of the ballots would be used for local tax issues; none of the candidate votes will count. The Dayton Daily News (registered site) has more.



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PROJECTION ~ Colorado called for Bush  
D. Wes Rist at 12:35 AM

[JURIST Election Special] 12:23 AM ET - ABC News has called Colorado's 9 electoral votes for President Bush.

12:35 AM ET - ABC News has projected the final electoral vote from Maine for Senator Kerry. The state divides its electoral votes according to district and earlier a single district had yet to finish its reports. Kerry now has been given all 4 of the state's electoral votes.

12:48 AM ET - Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell said the state's provisional ballots cannot be counted until 11 days following the election. Thus, if the difference between the two candidates is less than the number of provisional ballots, Ohio's 20 electoral votes would take almost two weeks to assign.

12:55 AM ET - ABC News has called Washington for Kerry, adding its 11 electoral votes to his total.



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Ballot issues ~ Oregon medical malpractice limit amendment too close to call  
Bernard Hibbitts at 12:25 AM

[JURIST Election Special] Oregon's Measure 35, a tort reform amendment that would limit damages in medical malpractice cases, is on a knife edge at this hour. The "No" votes have overtaken the "yes" votes, which led in early returns. Here are the latest figures from the Oregon Secretary of State's website:

Yes Votes 428,171 49.44%
No Votes 437,919 50.56%

Support is still strong, however, for Measure 36, the same-sex marriage ban:

Yes Votes 491,390 55.36%
No Votes 396,178 44.64%

In California, Propositions 66, 69 and 71 are still leaning "Yes". 69 and 71 seem almost certain to be adopted at this stage. With 9% of the precincts counted, here's the breakdown:

66 3 Strikes Limits 998,449 55.9 790,290 44.1
69 DNA Samples 1,180,327 66.8 586,809 33.2
71 Stem Cell Research 1,091,643 60.1 725,710 39.9

In Hawaii, we have early returns that suggest strong support for making information on sex offenders public:

YES 88,539 70.0%
NO 24,507 19.4%

Hawaii's Amendment 2 on rights of crime victims is also leaning towards passage:

YES 62,938 49.7%
NO 46,174 36.5%

In Nevada, we now have returns for Questions 5 and 7 on the state ballot. Interestingly, Question 5 appears to be headed for defeat. Here's the text:
Shall the Nevada Constitution be amended to penalize lawyers willfully involved in vexatious and frivolous litigation, and to prohibit certain changes to limits on recovery of monetary damages?
And now, the returns:

YES 36.74% 127,793
NO 62.26% 216,532

Question 7 asks:
Shall the Nevada Constitution be amended to change the provision that prohibits an "idiot or insane person" from voting to refer instead to "a person who has been adjudicated mentally incompetent, unless restored to legal capacity" and to repeal a provision relating to the election of United States Senators by the Legislature that was made obsolete by the adoption of the 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution?
The returns so far:

YES 54.35% 184,746
NO 44.46% 151,118



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Tuesday, November 2

PROJECTION ~ FL goes to Bush  
Chris Buell at 11:45 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 11:45 PM ET - CBS News has called Florida for President Bush. With 94% of precincts reporting there, Bush was leading Kerry:

Bush - 3,454,577 - 51%
Kerry - 3,162,587 - 47%

With Florida, Bush now stands at 246 electoral votes, while Kerry holds 199.



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Ballot issues ~ Early results suggest CA support for limiting "three strikes"  
Bernard Hibbitts at 11:23 PM

[JURIST Election Special] Live early returns on the California Secretary of State's election website indicate that all three of the Propositions we're tracking are on their way to passage. Here's the latest breakdown based on almost 4% of precincts reporting:

66 3 Strikes Limits 580,348 56.9 441,312 43.1
69 DNA Samples 668,701 66.3 341,217 33.7
71 Stem Cell Research 647,795 62.4 390,909 37.6

In Oregon, early returns are also available for Measures 35 (limiting damages in medical malpractice) and 36 (same-sex marriage ban). On 35:

Yes Votes 164,890 52.09%
No Votes 151,655 47.91%

On 36:

Yes Votes 191,005 59.08%
No Votes 132,298 40.92%

The early results on 36 are weaker than some had expected for supporters of gay marraige; Oregon had been seen as one of the only US jurisdictions where the same-sex marriage ban had a significant chance of failing.



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Ballot issues ~ CA reconsidering "three strikes", Hawaii deliberating on public access to sex offender info  
Bernard Hibbitts at 11:09 PM

[JURIST Election Special] Californians have been voting today on a series of Propositions. Of particular legal significance are Propositions 66 (imposing limits on the state's three strikes law - see background from the League of Women Voters), 69 (DNA sample collection - background), and 71 (bonds for stem cell reseearch - background). Hawaii, where the polls have also just closed, is deliberating on proposed state constitutional amendments 2 (public access to sex offender info) and 3 (rights of crime victims). The text of the proposed amendments is here.



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PROJECTION ~ Republicans retain Senate control with 50; Kerry wins in CA; Bush takes ID  
Chris Buell at 11:06 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 11:07 PM ET - AP is reporting that Republicans have retained control over the US Senate, with at least 50 of the seats going to the GOP. Reports also have Democrat John Kerry taking California as expected, while George Bush has collected Idaho.



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Final polls close on continent, only AK remains  
Chris Buell at 11:00 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 11:00 PM ET - Polls have closed in California, Hawaii, western Idaho, western North Dakota, western Oregon and Washington, leaving only Alaska residents still casting ballots.

11:15 PM ET - Rather than challenges to voters arising, a major issue cropping up today appears to be a shortage of provisional ballots. The shortage was particularly problematic in Pittsburgh, where turnout was much higher than in 2000. JURIST Staffer Liza Hall was present at a polling station in Pittsburgh today, and she reported the shortage of provisional ballots was especially problematic. Hall said each polling station received only 12 provisional ballots, with the station where she was observing running out by 11 AM. A number of voters at that Wilkinsburg station were turned away due to the shortage. In New Mexico, KRQE-TV is reporting a provisional ballot shortage as well.

11:20 PM ET - Colorado's Amendment 36 on whether to switch the state's nine electoral votes to a proportional system has failed, with 65% of voters opposing it.

11:40 PM ET - With Florida increasingly looking to go to Bush, Ohio remains a key state for Kerry. With 62% precincts reporting:

Bush - 1,777,749 - 52%
Kerry - 1,642,620 - 48%

Reuters reports that ballot confusion remained as results were tallied there this evening.

11:55 PM ET - The US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to stay a lower court order extending hours at polling stations in two Ohio counties and requiring officials to provide paper ballots to ensure people had an opportunity to vote. Read the 6th Circuit's order [PDF]. The Columbus Dispatch has more.

Ohio likely remains the key state in the outcome. The Ohio Secretary of State has Bush up 52 to 47 percent with almost three quarters of precincts reporting.

That's all for me from the anchor chair. Taking over from 12 to 2 AM is D. Wes Rist.



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PROJECTION ~ PA to Kerry; AZ to Bush  
Chris Buell at 10:50 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 10:53 PM ET - NBC News has called Arizona and its 10 electoral votes for President Bush, while it has awarded Pennsylvania, with its 21 votes, to John Kerry. The tally stands at 203 for Bush to Kerry's 133.



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PROJECTION ~ Colorado electoral college amendment defeated  
Bernard Hibbitts at 10:50 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 10:55 PM ET - Multiple news services are projecting that voters in Colorado have defeated Amendment 36, which would have redistributed that state's 9 electoral votes on a split proportional basis according to popular vote. The defeat of the Amendment avoids litigation that would likely have followed its approval, based on arguments that it could not have "retroactively" applied to the 2004 election itself. From Denver, the Rocky Mountain News has more.



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Race remains tight in major swing states; problems mostly local  
Chris Buell at 10:35 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 10:35 PM ET - The major swing states remain up in the air as results continue to be tallied. Major networks continue to point to Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania as being the keys to the outcome of the election.

Florida, with 74% of precincts reporting, stands at:

Bush - 2,747,384 - 51%
Kerry - 2,560,036 - 47 %

In Ohio, results are in from 34% of precincts:

Bush - 1,041,093 - 52%
Kerry - 943,467 - 47%

Pennsylvania has results from 52% of precincts:

Bush - 872, 891 - 40
Kerry - 1,314,057 - 60

AP is reporting that election-day issues have been limited to local problems, rather than any large-scale breakdowns.



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Ballot issues ~ Same-sex bans in play in MT, ND, UT, OR, frivolous lawsuits and "voting by idiots" in NV  
Bernard Hibbitts at 10:32 PM

[JURIST Election Special] With the latest set of poll closings at 10 PM ET, here's a brief rundown of the major ballot issues newly in play:
  • Montana is voting on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage (CI-96 - Montana Pride is opposed; the Montana Family Foundation supports) and another to legalize marijuana (I-148 - Montana Care supports. Information on the ballot measures is here.
  • Constitutional amendments are also in play in Nevada. We'll be watching Question 5, which would penalize lawyers involved in frivolous lawsuits, and Question 7, voting by "idiots or insane persons". An Initiative & Referendum Guide is here [PDF].
  • North Dakota is voting on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage (Measure 1).
  • Voters in Oregon are considering 2 notable amendments, Measure 35 (tort reform - limiting damages in medical malpractice cases) and Measure 36 (same-sex marriage).
  • Utah is also voting on Amendment 3, a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.



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PROJECTION ~ Bush wins MT, UT  
Chris Buell at 10:04 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 10:05 PM ET - AP is reporting that Montana and Utah have both gone to President Bush, giving him eight more electoral votes. At this point, no surprises have occurred, with declared states all going in the expected direction. No swing states have been decided thus far.

10:20 PM ET - AP has awarded Missouri to Bush, bringing his total to 196, while Kerry remains at 112.



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Polls close in seven more states; Bush leads in FL with few problems reported  
Chris Buell at 10:00 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 10 PM ET - Polls have closed in eastern Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Nevada, eastern North Dakota, eastern Oregon and Utah, bringing voting to a close in 43 states.

Returns continue to trickle in from Florida, with President Bush maintaining a gap over John Kerry. With more than half the precincts reporting, the tally stands at:

Bush - 2,591,797 - 52%
Kerry - 2,303,449 - 46%

The Miami Herald reports that in Broward County, where Republicans filed a lawsuit Monday over voter challenges, only one voter was challenged today.

10:15 PM ET - Several legal issues simmering at the moment.... The ACLU has sued to have thousands of late absentee ballots counted in Florida after voters received them too late to return them in time.... Many states have or will face the issue of whether to extend polling hours, with many lines remaining even as the polls are scheduled to close. Election Law @ Moritz has analysis on the issue.

10:25 PM ET - KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh is reporting that a judge in the city has ordered a voting machine from Litchfield Towers at the University of Pittsburgh impounded after some challenged voters were allowed to vote using the machine when the station ran out of provisional ballots.



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Ballot issues ~ Colorado electoral college amendment failing; same-sex marriage ban passes in MI  
Jeannie Shawl at 9:52 PM

[JURIST Election Special] Voters in Colorado are considering Amendment 36, on whether to change the state's system for allocating presidential electoral votes from a winner-take-all system to a proportional system. As reported on JURIST's Paper Chase, last week the proposal survived a court challenge to its constitutionality. CNN has results with 4% of precincts reporting:

Yes 91,490 (32%)
No 191,485 (68%)

CBS is projecting that an amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions will pass in Michigan (with 294 precincts reporting):

Yes 91,693 (63%)
No 52,738 (37%)



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Ballot issues ~ Florida abortion, medical malpractice amendments, AR same-sex marriage ban all passing  
Jeannie Shawl at 9:30 PM

[JURIST Election Special] In Alabama, voters considered an amendment that would remove from the state constitution language on segregated schools, the right to an education, and poll taxes. Read background on the amendment. With the first two Alabama precincts reporting, there are 537 votes in favor of the amendment, 469 against

Arizona voters considered Proposition 200, which would require people registering to vote to prove their US citizenship. More information on the proposition can be found here (pro-Proposition 200 website) and here (anti-Proposition 200 website). Early returns are not yet available.

Updating results from Florida, with over 46% of the precincts reporting:

Amendment 1 (parental notification of minor's abortion)
Yes 2,205,075 (64.4%)
No 1,216,664 (35.6%)

Amendment 3 (medical malpractice limits)
Yes 2,200,669 (64.0%)
No 1,236,751 (36.0%)

Arkansas voters considered an amendment [PDF] to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions. CNN reports early results, with 2% of precincts reporting:

Yes 97,264 (70%)
No 40,720 (30%)



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PROJECTION ~ KA, NE, ND, SD, TX, WY to Bush; Kerry wins in NY, RI  
Chris Buell at 9:05 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 9:05 PM ET - AP is projecting that Bush wins in Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming, while Kerry has taken New York, Rhode Island.

9:30 PM ET - Louisiana and Mississippi have been added to the Bush column. CBS News has Bush at 171 and Kerry at 112.



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Polls close in battlegrounds CO, MI, WI, NM among others  
Chris Buell at 9:00 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 9:00 PM ET - Polls have just closed in 13 more states: Colorado, Arizona, Louisiana, western Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, western Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Pre-election polls showed Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico and Wisconsin were all close heading into today's vote. In all, these states account for 137 electoral votes.

9:15 PM ET - With 3 percent of precincts reporting in PA, Kerry is maintaining a strong lead. Both candidates were polling strong in the respective parts of the state.

Kerry - 76,090 - 70%
Bush - 32,909 - 30%

In Ohio, with 7 percent of precincts reporting, Kerry is still several points up.

Kerry - 308,282 - 53%
Bush - 276,000 - 47%

Also earlier today, the US Supreme Court denied a request for a stay of a US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruling allowing voter challenges to continue. Justice Souter ruled that the request was moot since the voter that brought had successfully voted. AP has more.

9:25 PM ET - Reports from Ohio are that voter challenges did not present a problem in most areas. A suit has been appealed by the Ohio Democratic Party to the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals over long voting lines in Ohio. Read the notice of appeal [PDF] and the answer [PDF] from Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (documents via Election Law @ Moritz).

9:30 PM ET - With 14 percent of precincts in, CNN reports the following for PA:

Kerry - 333,748 - 72%
Bush - 131,542 - 28%

9:37 PM ET - CBS News is reporting that a district judge has blocked the counting of up to 15,000 absentee ballots in Philadelphia after their validity was questioned by Republics. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at 9 AM ET.

9:40 PM ET - In Minnesota, a judge refused to grant a Republican request for a restraining order to keep the liberal group MoveOn.org away from polling stations. AP has more on this and other voting issues in Minnesota here.

9:50 PM ET - Races remain close in four battleground states, with neither candidate picking up a clear lead.

In Ohio, Bush takes the lead with 16% of precincts reporting:
Bush - 545,549 - 52%
Kerry - 497,167 - 47%

Michigan shows Bush with early lead with 4% of returns in:
Bush - 76,837 - 52%
Kerry - 68,617 - 47%

Wisconsin has Bush up early with 4% of precincts reporting:
Bush - 84,541 - 57%
Kerry - 61,325 - 42%

In Pennsylvania, Kerry stays in front with 19% reporting:
Bush - 227,433 - 34%
Kerry - 443,312 - 66%



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PROJECTION ~ Bush takes Virginia  
Bernard Hibbitts at 8:45 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 8:45 PM ET ~ NBC in projecting President Bush to win in Virginia.



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Ballot issues ~ Florida abortion notice, medical malpractice amendments leading; same-sex ban leading in MS, OK  
Jeannie Shawl at 8:44 PM

[JURIST Election Special] Voters in Florida are considering several amendments, including Amendment 1, on parental notification of a minor's abortion, and Amendment 3, limiting contingency agreements in medical malpractice cases. With over 17% of the precincts reporting:

Amendment 1 (parental notification of minor's abortion)
Yes 1,028,026 (65.6%)
No 538,231 (34.4%)

Amendment 3 (medical malpractice limits)
Yes 1,022,302 (64.9%)
No 553,432 (35.1%)

Mississippi voters considered a constitutional amendment [PDF] to ban same-sex marriage. Very early results show 123 votes in favor, 10 votes against.

Oklahoma voters also considered an amendment [PDF] to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions. With 15% of precincts reporting:

Yes 23,108 (73.52%)
No 8,322 (26.48%)



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Polls close in Arkansas; Bush leading in FL, OH  
Bernard Hibbitts at 8:29 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 8:30 PM ET - The polls have just closed in Arkansas. Kerry has an electoral college lead over Bush 77-66 based on projections, but Bush is leading Kerry in the critical states of Florida and Ohio. If Kerry loses both of those, he may well lose the race.

8:32 PM ET - The Columbus Post-Dispatch website is down, so no more results from there for a while.

8:33 PM ET - Florida is looking good for Bush, with over 21% of precincts reporting:

Bush/Cheney - 1,080,468 54.5%
Kerry/Edwards - 886,528 44.7%

8:35 PM ET - The Post-Dispatch is back online, and Kerry has taken the lead in Ohio:

John Kerry 83,567 55%
George Bush 65,704 43%

8:45 PM ET - In Michigan today, the NAACP asked a federal judge to bar challengers from Detroit polling places, complaining that voters were being harassed and intimidated. The Detroit Free Press has more. The NAACP later dropped the suit about an hour afterwards, however. State Republicans meanwhile filed a separate action against City of Detriot officials for allegedly preventing GOP poll challengers from being present at polling places. NBC 4 Detroit has more.

8:50 PM ET - Florida still holding for Bush, with more than 27% of precincts reporting:

Bush/Cheney - 1,378,485 54.6%
Kerry/Edwards - 1,127,069 44.6%

8:51 PM ET - Ohio holding for Kerry, but with only some 2% of precincts in so far:

John Kerry 130,655 51%
George Bush 123,915 48%

8:58 PM ET - In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, KDKA-TV is reporting that Allegheny county is taking provisional ballots from people unable to vote earlier at other polling stations until 9:30 at the city county building. Polls were originally supposed to close here at 8, but some lines are still an hour long. Early fragmentary returns from around the state with about 1% of the precincts reporting indicate:

Kerry - 68%
Bush - 32%

That's all from me on anchor. Taking over from 9-12 will be Chris Buell. I'll be back after 10 PM ET with updated reports on ballot initiatives.



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PROJECTION ~ Bush takes AL, OK, TN; Kerry takes DE, CT, DC, IL, MA, ME, MD. NJ  
Bernard Hibbitts at 8:03 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 8:02 PM ET - AP is projecting Bush wins in Alabama, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. AP is projecting Kerry wins in Delaware, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. These projections swing the electoral college vote to Kerry for the first time tonight, 77 to 66. CNN figures indicate that the popular vote so far is still solidly with the President, however, 2,223,567 to 1,646,586.



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Polls close in western FL, PA, IL, MA, MI, NJ, TX and elsewhere  
Bernard Hibbitts at 8:00 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 8:00 PM ET - The polls have just closed in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, western Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and eastern Texas, representing some 224 electoral votes.

8:05 PM ET - AP and the networks have projected AL, OK, TN for Bush, and Kerry DE, CT, DC, IL, MA, ME, MD, and NJ for Kerry.

8:11 PM ET - With almost 15% of the votes counted in Florida now, the balance is:

Bush/Cheney - 754,095 54.9&
Kerry/Edwards - 608,669 44.3%

8:17 PM ET - The first early returns are now coming in from Ohio, courtesy the Columbus Post-Dispatch:

George Bush 13,252 55%
John Kerry 10,606 44%

8:21 PM ET - Pennsylvania results will be somewhat slow coming in due to the fact that there is no unified online reporting system - the counties post their own election returns individually. Around Pittsburgh there were long lines to vote today - some precincts in Allegheny County ran out of provisional ballots for those who were not on the rolls. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more. Mercer County encountered problems with touchscreen voting machines. Again, the PG has more.

8:27 PM ET - Bush is still winning Florida, with over 15% of the vote there now counted:

Bush/Cheney - 900,810 54.5%
Kerry Edwards - 733,911 44.5%

There is, however, a slight percentage dip away from Bush here, so we need to watch where that trend goes.



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PROJECTION ~ Gay marriage ban passes in Ohio  
Bernard Hibbitts at 7:51 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 7:45 PM ET - ABC News is projecting that Ohio's proposed constiutional amendment banning gay marriage will pass. The Cincinnati branch of the League of Women Voters has background on Issue 1 here. The text of the amendment reads:
Be it Resolved by the People of the State of Ohio: That the Constitution of the State of Ohio be amended by adopting a section to be designated as Section 11 of Article XV thereof, to read as follows:Article XV Section 11. Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this state and its political subdivisions. This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage.
AP has a story on the passage of Issue 1 in Ohio and similarly-approved measures in Georgia and Kentucky here.



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Ballot issues ~ Same-sex marriage ban passes in Georgia, leading in Kentucky  
Jeannie Shawl at 7:32 PM

[JURIST Election Special] Georgia voters today considered a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that the marriage amendment has passed.

Voters in Kentucky considered a similar constitutional amendment (scroll down) banning same-sex marriage and civil unions. With over 37% of precincts reporting:

Yes 394,495 (68.6%)
No 180,351 (31.4%)



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PROJECTION ~ Bush wins in West Virginia  
Bernard Hibbitts at 7:31 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 7:31 PM ET - AP is calling Bush to win West Virginia, giving him 5 more votes and moving the tally to 39-3.



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Polls close in Ohio, North Carolina, WV  
Bernard Hibbitts at 7:30 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 7:30 PM ET - The polls have now closed in Ohio, North Carolina and West Virginia. In Ohio, long lines at polling places prompted last-minute calls by Democrats for polling workers to hand out paper ballots. Line waits in some counties were up to five hours. The Columbus Dispatch has more.

7:31 PM ET - AP has called West Virginia for Bush.

7:43 PM ET - Back in Florida, with 3% of precincts reporting, the results look like this:

Bush/Cheney - 138,614 56.9%
Kerry/Edwards - 102,490 42.1%

7:49 PM ET - Updated results for Kentucky, already declared for Bush - with 58% of precincts reporting:

Bush/Cheney (R) 552,088 57%
Kerry/Edwards (D) 394,812 41%

With 17% of the actual vote counted in Indiana:

Bush/Cheney (R) 236,077 61%
Kerry/Edwards (D) 146,003 37%



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PROJECTIONS ~ GA, IN, KY to Bush, VT to Kerry  
Bernard Hibbitts at 7:06 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 7:05 PM ET - AP is now calling Bush to win in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky. Kerry wins Vermont.



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Polls close in most of Florida; Bush lead continues in IN, KY  
Bernard Hibbitts at 7:03 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 7:00 PM ET - The polls are now closed in most of Florida, and in the rest of Indiana, the rest of Kentucky, Georgia, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia.

In Kentucky now, 20% of the precincts are reporting:

Bush/Cheney (R) 213,062 53%
Kerry/Edwards (D) 184,940 46%

New poll figures for Indiana with 2% of precincts reporting

Bush/Cheney (R) 34,013 56%
Kerry/Edwards (D) 25,703 42%

7:10 PM ET - AP and the networks have called Georgia, Indiana, and Kentucky for Bush, and Vermont for Kerry. That puts the Electoral Colleege split at 34-3 for Bush.

7:12 PM ET - No online returns yet for Florida. There were relatively few problems there today, according to Reuters. ABC 10 in Miami has more.

7:18 PM ET - The first fragmentary polls from Florida for the Presidential race are on the Secretary of State's election website. With .2% of precincts reporting:

Bush/Cheney - 33,286 53.4%
Kerry/Edwards - 28,369 45.5%

7:22 PM ET - The Kentucky live returns website is back up. With 39.8% of precincts in:

Bush & Cheney R 364,621 56.6%
Kerry & Edwards D 274,316 42.6%

7:28 PM ET - The first fragmentary returns from Virginia are now in from the State Board of Elections. With 32 of 1406 precincts reporting:

Bush/Cheney Republican 20,355 - 53.88%
Kerry/Edwards Democratic 17,128 - 45.34%



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Ballot issues ~ State constitutional amendments, ballot initiatives and referenda  
Jeannie Shawl at 6:47 PM

[JURIST Election Special] Here's a sampling of key state constitutional amendments, ballot initiatives and referenda on the ballot in today's general election.

Eleven states are voting on constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage. Proposed amendments in Mississippi [PDF - all links to proposal text or background], Montana and Oregon refer only to same-sex marriage, while proposals in Arkansas [PDF], Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma [PDF] and Utah would also ban civil unions.

Six states are considering medical malpractice and tort reform measures. Voters in Nevada, Oregon and Wyoming consider whether to place limits on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. Voters in California and Colorado [PDF] consider tort reform measures not related to medical malpractice. Florida voters are deciding whether to limit contingency agreements in medical malpractice cases (text here).

Several states will consider election, political or judicial reform. Most notably, Colorado's Amendment 36 would change the state's system for allocating presidential electoral votes from a winner-take-all system to a proportional system. Rhode Island voters will consider a constitutional amendment meant to ensure separation of powers in the state. South Dakota's ballot has a proposed amendment on the merit selection of judges. California voters are considering initiatives on limiting the state's three strikes law (text here) and the extent to which felons should be required to submit DNA samples to the state's database (text here). Nevada voters will decide whether to penalize lawyers involved in frivolous lawsuits (text here).

Other questions facing voters include a Florida amendment on parental notification for a minor's abortion, an Alabama amendment repealing constitutional provisions related to separation of schools by race, right to education and poll tax, and a Nevada question on voting by "idiots or insane persons."

The National Conference of State Legislatures provides an overview of 2004 constitutional amendments, initiatives and referenda.



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Early lead for Bush in Kentucky, Indiana  
Bernard Hibbitts at 6:35 PM

[JURIST Election Special] 6:35 PM ET - Online results from Kentucky were fragmentary just before the state's online results site became unreachable a few minutes ago, but favored Bush. Now, however, the website for WAVE-TV in Louisville shows:

Bush/Cheney (R) 16,976 - 62%
Kerry/Edwards (D) 9,988 - 36%

with 4% of the polls reporting. WAVE also has Indiana leaning Bush:

Bush/Cheney (R) 7,543 54%
Kerry/Edwards (D) 6,085 44%

but this is with only 22 of 5406 polls reporting.



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Election 2004 ~ Polls close in eastern KY, most of Indiana  
Bernard Hibbitts at 6:00 PM

[JURIST Election Special] Good evening and welcome to JURIST's special live coverage of the 2004 election.

6:00 PM ET - The polls are now closed in eastern Kentucky and most of Indiana. There, as in the nation at large, voter turnout has been heavy. Voters in Indiana encountered long lines and some problems - in Indianapolis, for instance, some voters were turned away from the polls because they had been erroneously purged from the rolls. The Indianapolis Star has more. In Kentucky it was the same story, with perhaps fewer problems, according to WAVE-TV in Louisville.

6:10 PM ET - We now have very early Presidential returns from the Kentucky State Board of Elections. Three precincts reporting, 0.1% of the state vote.

Bush & Cheney R 4,221 - 61.1%
Kerry & Edwards D 2,640 - 38.2%
Nader & Camejo I 31 - 0.4%

More results available live here.

6:20 PM ET - No online results as yet from Indiana. Elsewhere across the country, voting continues. Earlier this afternoon, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit stayed an order of a New Jersey judge that would have limited Republican challenges to voters in Ohio under a consent decree imposed in New Jersey on the GOP in the 1980s. The Third Circuit stay is here [PDF]. Early this morning the US 6th Circuit took a similarly permissive stance towards challenges, staying two Ohio federal court rulings that would have limited them.

6:28 PM ET - Trouble with the Kentucky electoral website...



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ABOUT

JURIST provided live coverage of the 2004 Election via our Paper Chase legal news weblog for 14 straight hours from 6 PM ET Tuesday November 2 through 8 AM ET Wednesday, November 3. Six law faculty and law student anchors worked in shifts through the night to provide the latest returns, many direct from state election websites, plus news of legal developments in the vote. This is a complete record of the posts made as the election unfolded.

CONTACT

Paper Chase welcomes comments, tips and URLs from readers. E-mail us at JURIST@law.pitt.edu

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