On July 19, the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, asked the Board of Elections to file a response to the Libertarian Party’s petition for rehearing. The case is Libertarian Party v D.C. Board of Elections, 11-7029. This is the case over whether declared write-in presidential candidates are entitled to have their votes counted.
On June 8, a 3-judge panel in this court had upheld the Board of Elections policy of refusing to count the write-ins for declared presidential candidates. The Libertarian Party had then asked for a rehearing en banc. It is somewhat unusual for a court to ask for a response, when a petition for rehearing is filed. This means that the judges are seriously considering whether to grant a rehearing.
The original decision erroneously said that the Libertarian Party believes that all write-ins must be counted, when actually the party’s briefs have been very clear that the party only asks that the write-ins for the declared presidential candidates be counted. In 2008, Bob Barr was the only presidential candidate who filed to have his write-ins counted. Filing for write-ins status requires a certain amount of work, including finding three candidates for presidential elector who have lived in the District of Columbia for the past three years.