The big news around these parts today is the potential delay in the Election of the Century (TM), resulting from a ruling released today by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The judges argue that the October 7 election date does not provide enough time for a number of counties (counties with a high percentage of minority voters) to move from error-prone punch-card ballots to high-tech voting machines, ordering that the election be delayed until such machines are in place.
But that’s not the good news. The good news is that the rationale used by the judges in their finding stems in part from the Supreme Court’s ruling in the 2000 Bush v. Gore case. As Richard L. Hasen of the Loyola Law School in L.A. argues, “The holding of Bush v. Gore is that you cannot in an arbitrary manner value one person’s vote above another’s. This is an easy case under that rule.”
Of course, the Ninth Circuit’s decision is being appealed. But there’s a further downside to all this, one which all right-thinking Californians must weigh with great seriousness: this ruling sets the stage for another six months of campaigning.