U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff will hold a hearing in Conservative Party of New York and Working Families Party of New York v New York State Board of Elections on Monday, December 6, at 4 p.m. This is the case that contests the state’s policy on counting votes. When two parties jointly nominate the same candidate, and a voter casts two votes for that one candidate (one vote on each party’s line), the state deems that to be one vote for the party closest to the top of the ballot. This means, generally, that a voter who votes twice for a candidate who has been nominated by the Conservative Party and the Republican Party, the Republican Party gets that vote and the Conservative Party doesn’t.
The state will try to persuade the judge to dismiss the case. If the state fails to do that, there will be a trial in June 2011.
This problem mostly didn’t exist before 2010 in New York state, because before 2010, voters at the polls generally used mechanical voting machines, with levers. The machine physically prevented anyone from voting for two candidates for the same office. But starting in 2010, New York state uses paper ballots.