Posted: May 5, 2009
State Law Issues Loom Large in Coleman v. Franken Appeal
When Coleman filed his opening brief in the Minnesota Supreme Court last week, initial observations were that the brief essentially just repeated the federal-law Equal Protection argument that had been the centerpiece of Coleman’s case before the trial court. To be sure, Equal Protection remains a large part of Coleman’s argument on appeal. (It would be surprising if it weren’t, and I've discussed Equal Protection previously.) But I was struck by how prominently issues of state law feature in Coleman’s appeal.
The Dual Significance of State Law
State law issues play two roles in the appeal. First, some of Coleman’s state-law arguments can stand on their own two feet, so to speak, independent of any federal constitutional issues. In other words, if Coleman could prevail on these state-law grounds, he could win a remand to the trial court, without the Minnesota Supreme Court having to reach the federal issues. A remand, of course, would still be a long way from Coleman's overtaking Franken’s 312-vote lead, and I’m not suggesting that Coleman necessarily has the better of these state-law arguments—we haven’t seen Franken’s brief yet, for one thing—but a remand resting solely on state law would put the case in a different posture than one resting on federal law. It would affect, for example, Franken’s potential next moves in terms of where to go (U.S. Senate? federal trial court? state legislature? sit tight back in state trial court?) and what arguments to make.
Second, state law issues serve as a kind of “table-setter” for consideration of the federal Equal Protection issues. As I’ve indicated in some of my previous analysis of the Equal Protection argument in Coleman v. Franken, these arguments vary in character and quality depending on the resolution of antecedent state-law issues. Thus, it will be necessary for the Minnesota Supreme Court to pin down answers to multiple state-law issues before seeing whether it needs to go on to address any federal-law claims and, if so, exactly which ones. For this reason, one can expect state-law issues to be front and center in the minds of the Minnesota justices as they prepare for oral argument on June 1.
These state law issues, regrettably, are not straightforward. Indeed, as I’ve mulled them over since Coleman filed his brief last Thursday, at times I’ve found them mind-numbingly complex, and I’m someone who specializes in election law and has followed this vote-counting dispute from the beginning (meaning since Election Day, last November 4). It worries me that legal questions concerning the resolution of disputed important elections can be so complicated, since I consider it an important value in a democracy that the rules for resolving these disputes be publicly accessible and understandable. But the situation is what it is, and thus all I can do as a specialist in this field is to lay out the issues as best as I can, clarifying or illuminating them when possible.
The First of Nine Scenarios: Whether the Witness is Registered
As an initial endeavor in this regard, I wish to focus on the first of nine recurring scenarios that Coleman lists in his brief. These scenarios all concern the examination of absentee ballots by local election officials: (1) the witness was not registered, (2) the witness’s address is missing or incomplete; (3) the voter was not registered, and so forth. (See the Table of Contents of Coleman's brief for a complete list of the nine.) The opposite way in which the same scenario was handled in different localities—the absentee ballot counted in one place, rejected in another—serves as the predicate for Coleman’s Equal Protection arguments. But there are preliminary state-law issues with respect to each of these nine scenarios.
For each scenario, one may ask these questions of Minnesota law: (1) should that ballot have been counted on Election Night? (2) if so, but it wasn’t, is it entitled to be counted now, in an “election contest” lawsuit of which the current Coleman v. Franken is an example? and (3) if the ballot should not have been counted on Election Night, but it was, is there any available procedure, including the possibility of an election contest, to negate the wrongful counting of this ballot if (together with other wrongfully counted ballots) it causes a candidate to be identified inaccurately as the recipient of the largest number of votes entitled to be counted?
To reach a definitive answer with respect to each of these questions for each scenario, one probably needs to consider all nine. Tentative conclusions with respect to any scenario, in other words, might be revised after considering the parallel questions with respect to the other eight scenarios. Nonetheless, the scenarios are distinct enough from each other factually that they should be considered one-at-a-time, at least initially. I will consider only the first scenario here, for purposes of illustration.
In this first scenario, an absentee ballot envelope on its face is witnessed by a Minnesota resident, but the witness is not a registered voter. Coleman presents this scenario first because it is, in his words “perhaps the starkest illustration” of the different treatment that different localities gave to the same situation. Some counties apparently required their election officials to check the Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS) to see if the witness was registered and, if not, required the officials to reject the absentee ballot. Other counties apparently adopted a policy that their officials should not check the SVRS but instead should presume the witness to be registered, and thus should count the ballot unless any non-SVRS evidence happened to materialize to override that presumption. Elsewhere, still, some counties apparently had not adopted a county-level policy on the matter, leaving it to local officials to decide what to do. As a result, according to Coleman’s brief, “in some counties there was no consistent practice, meaning similarly situated ballots within the same county were treated differently.”
As I read Coleman’s description of the facts—a description I’m not in a position to verify or refute, having not watched every day of the trial and without the Minnesota Supreme Court’s first-hand access to the complete trial record—I ask: according to Minnesota law applicable at the time, what should have happened to the ballots in this situation? Which counties or local officials did the right thing under Minnesota law, and which did not? Or is it possible that all of them did the right thing because Minnesota law gave localities the discretion to handle the situation however they wished? But if any of them acted wrongfully under Minnesota law, in either rejecting or counting absentee ballots in this situation, then does Minnesota law afford any remedy after Election Night to rectify this error, especially if the error may have caused the wrong candidate to have been identified as the winner of the most ballots entitled to be counted?
Absentee Ballot Boards or In-Precinct Examination?
As I ponder these questions, I’m particularly unclear about one factual matter. Minnesota law permits, but does not require, localities within the state to set up “absentee ballot boards” to do the work of examining submitted absentee ballot envelopes starting 30 days before Election Day. Otherwise, review of the absentee ballot envelopes occurs at each precinct on Election Night. The same statutory standards apply in both contexts, but it is possible that they might apply in different ways, given the different technical and time constraints applicable to precinct-based examination of absentee ballots on Election Night in comparison to a month-long review process conducted by an absentee ballot board.
As the trial court explicitly found (#68), precinct workers had no way to check the SVRS. If this fact explained all the variation between localities concerning the “witness registration” issue, it might make a difference to the legal analysis. But Coleman in his brief seems to be suggesting—it is a bit unclear from the brief itself—that even counties that used absentee ballot boards had different policies and practices on whether to check the SVRS to see if a witness was registered. “Most [local election officials] . . . testified they simply did not check—even if they did have access to the database.” And the trial court’s factual findings (#67) arguably support Coleman on this point, at least to some extent: counties with access to the SVRS found it logistically difficult or impossible to check the registration status of all witnesses, given the large volume of absentee ballots they faced. Moreover, insofar as Coleman claims that some counties were internally inconsistent in their treatment of ballots in this situation, he seems to be implying that the absentee ballot board within a county would vary in its own practice from time to time during its multi-day review process.
If I were a justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court, I would try to pin down factually what exactly was going on among the various localities regarding this “witness registration” scenario. Meanwhile, for purposes of discussion here, I will simply assume that counties with absentee ballot boards differed in whether they examined the SVRS to check whether a witness was registered. That assumption will permit an apples-to-apples comparison in asking the state-law question: what should these counties have done if they had been following Minnesota law properly, or did they have discretion to vary in the way that they did?
(It is unclear whether Coleman is contending that localities without absentee ballot boards, which therefore did their examination of absentee ballots at each precinct on Election Night, also varied from one another in how they handled the witness registration issue. I’m more dubious about this “oranges-to-oranges” comparison, as I’m not sure how precincts anywhere would have had the technology to check the SVRS, and again the trial court specifically found that they did not. But the “apples-to-apples” comparison of different localities with absentee ballot boards will suffice as a predicate to illustrate an analysis of the relevant state-law issues.)
What Should Have Happened to these Absentee Ballots on Election Night?
During the course of the trial in Coleman v. Franken, there was a lot of talk about the clarity of Minnesota’s statutes regarding absentee ballots, and so it surprised me to look back at those statutes and find that they are not so crystal clear (at least to me) on how to handle the “witness registration” scenario. I had expected to find that the statutes unequivocally required local officials to reject an absentee ballot if a witness was not registered, leaving only the state-law question of what (if anything) to do when local officials disobey this clear instruction.
It turns out that, while it is possible to read the relevant statutes this way, the statutory language does not compel this conclusion. It is possible, although perhaps something of a stretch, to read the statutes to yield the opposite conclusion: that local election officials throughout the state should have accepted an absentee ballot for counting, regardless of whether they had access to the SVRS, as long as the ballot envelope on its face gave no reason to doubt the witness’s registration (and there was no other extrinsic, non-SVRS, evidence to raise a doubt).
There is, however, yet a third interpretation of the relevant statutes that is possible—one which, in the end, may be the most plausible: that Minnesota law left it to local officials to decide whether or not to check the SVRS in order to ascertain whether the witness was registered. But even if this interpretation is correct, the statutes are far from clear in granting local officials this discretion. Moreover, this discretion-through-ambiguity, rather than discretion-through-clarity, might be relevant in analyzing a federal Equal Protection challenge to the local variation that occurred as a result of this discretion.
A Look at the Relevant Statutes
Section 203B.12 of Minnesota’s statutes is the one that governs the examination of absentee ballots envelopes to determine whether the ballots should be counted or rejected. But one must read this provision in relationship to section 203B.07 to determine what to do when the witness’s portion of the certificate appears valid on the face of the envelope but the witness is not a registered voter.
Section 203B.12 speaks in terms of the duties of the precinct officials who examine the absentee ballot envelopes on Election Night, but according to section 203B.13 the same duties apply to the members of an absentee ballot board where one has been established. In either case, the local election officials are to “mark” an absentee ballot “Accepted” if they are “satisfied” (emphasis added) that, among other requirements, its “certificate has been completed as prescribed in the directions for casting an absentee ballot.” Conversely, they must mark it “Rejected” if they “find” that it failed to meet this requirement.
Section 203B.07, in turn, speaks to the content of “the certificate” on the absentee ballot envelope, including the portion to be filled out by the witness. This provision requires “the certificate” to “contain a statement signed by a person who is registered to vote in Minnesota,” unless the statement is notarized by a notary public or the equivalent. The witness’s “statement” must specifically attest to three conditions: (1) the ballot was initially blank; (2) the voter completed it in private (or, where applicable, with appropriate assistance); and (3) it was sealed in its secrecy envelope. There is no requirement, however, that the witness’s statement must attest to the witness’s status as a registered voter. Moreover, the rules and forms specified by the Minnesota Secretary of State (pursuant to its statutory authority to prescribe such rules and forms) provide only that a “non-notary witness” provide a Minnesota address. (A sample envelope is on the Secretary of State’s website.)
The key statutory word, upon reflection, seems to be “satisfied” in section 203B.12, with the “completed as prescribed” phrase of the same section playing a subsidiary role. Are the local election officials entitled—or even obligated—to be satisfied if the envelope on its face has been filled out correctly with the witness’s name, address, signature, and date? Or, instead, in order to be satisfied, are the officials obligated to take the extra step of checking the SVRS?
Does it matter exactly what these officials are supposed to be satisfied about? Are they supposed to be satisfied that the witness is in fact registered? Or, instead, are they only required to be satisfied that the certificate on the envelope has been “completed” in the form “prescribed”?
In this regard, it is worth comparing the officials’ obligation with respect to the witness portion of the certificate and their obligation with respect to the absentee voter’s own registration status. A separate requirement in section 203B.12 does require the officials to be satisfied that the voters themselves are in fact registered—not merely that they completed the form correctly. But the statutory language regarding the witness concerns only satisfaction about the certificate itself. It is possible, therefore, to construe this statutory language to mean only that the official needs to be satisfied that the witness portion of the certificate looks in order on its face.
The plausibility of this interpretation is enhanced when we remember that section 203B.12 is written specifically for precinct workers, with absentee ballot boards having to conform to the same precinct-tailored standard. Since it is not possible for precinct workers to check the SVRS, they can’t be expected to do so. Precinct workers, by the way, can check a voter’s registration status without access to the SVRS by examining their poll books (supplemented by Election Day registrations at the precinct itself). But precinct workers without access to the SVRS have no way of knowing whether a witness is registered.
A Statutory Preference for Statewide Uniformity or Local Discretion?
Here’s where interpreting the statutory language starts to get especially tricky. If absentee ballot boards are supposed to be held to the same statutory standard as precinct workers when examining absentee ballot envelopes, then maybe absentee ballot boards should not be permitted to check the SVRS to see if a witness is registered even if these boards have that technological capacity (since precinct workers don’t). On this view, absentee ballot boards are obligated, not merely entitled, to look only at the face of the certificate to see that the witness completed it correctly. (This view would permit the boards to examine the SVRS to verify a voter’s registration, since the board would not have the poll books that the precinct workers would have, and the SVRS would function as the board’s equivalent method of checking voter, but not witness, registration.)
There are other statutory indications that Minnesota law favors the uniform treatment of comparable absentee ballots statewide. Section 203B.125, for example, calls for the Secretary of State to make rules for the examination of absentee ballot envelopes under 203B.12. These rules, presumably, would apply the same to both in-precinct and board examination. The Secretary of State’s rules on absentee ballots, however, do not address the specific situation under discussion here.
Nonetheless, in the absence of clear guidance from the statutes themselves or the Secretary of State’s rules, it would seem that Minnesota law leaves it to localities with absentee ballot boards to decide whether to check the SVRS to see if a witness is registered. After all, the law undeniably permits localities to use absentee ballot boards in the first place, with all the administrative benefits that doing so entails. If having an absentee ballot board permits a locality to verify that a witness is registered—and it is undeniable that section 203B.7 requires that the witness be registered—then why shouldn’t a locality be entitled to take advantage of that extra administrative benefit?
Moreover, one inevitably comes back to the word “satisfied,” which has a connotation of discretion. If an absentee ballot board would not be “satisfied” that the certificate conforms to the requirements of section 203B.7, including the requirement that the witness be registered, without checking the SVRS—then is not the board entitled to use its available resources to investigate the matter to its satisfaction? Without a clear directive putting a check of the SVRS off-limits, the structural formulation of section 203B.12 would seem to leave it in the hands of local officials to decide what to do in order to be satisfied as required. (Maybe the Minnesota Supreme Court can get some additional guidance on how the word “satisfied” is used in different areas of statutory law governing the conduct of state and local officials.
But this analysis raises additional questions. Must the locality—county or municipality—let the members of the absentee ballot board decide what steps to take in order to be satisfied? Or can the locality, by rule, constrain the board’s discretion to act in a specific way? Could this rule call for the examination of the SVRS for some, but not all, absentee ballots? For example, as a time-saving measure, could the rule specify that the board check whether the witness is registered for every tenth ballot? Or only ballots cast by voters living in certain neighborhoods, where fear of fraud might be higher? (This particular selectivity seems worrisome.)
In October 2008, would it have been possible to know, for each locality with an absentee ballot board, what its policy was regarding examination of an envelope to ascertain whether a witness is registered? Was that policy written down? Or, at least in some localities, was the absentee ballot board permitted to change its policy or practice during the period in which it was reviewing absentee ballot envelopes, depending on the day-to-day volume of envelopes to review?
These sorts of questions are relevant, first, to figure out just how much discretion localities are entitled to have under Minnesota law in conducting the examination of envelopes called for in section 203B.12 and, second, to consider the Equal Protection implications of whatever that scope of discretion turns out to be. (They are also relevant to the laches point that Rick Hasen appropriately raises: if it was impossible to know in advance a particular locality’s policy regarding the “witness registration” issue, would it be appropriate to bar a candidate for challenging that policy once it materialized in practice during this election?)
The Remedial Consequences of Statutory Interpretation
If local officials acted properly within their scope of discretion under state law, then there is no wrongful conduct to remedy even if some of them rejected ballots that others would have accepted, and vice versa. Only if this exercise of discretion were a violation of federal law would a remedial issue arise. Thus, to take this simplest illustration, if Locality A required its absentee ballot board to check the SVRS, while Locality B required its absentee ballot board to ignore the SVRS—but if both localities were acting within the scope of their discretion under the relevant statutes—then there would be no state-law basis for challenging their decisions (in this Coleman v. Franken election contest lawsuit, or otherwise).
However, if the better interpretation of the relevant statutes were that the state-law value of uniformity between absentee ballot boards and in-precinct examination of absentee ballots requires that all boards confine themselves to examination of the certificate on its face in same way that precinct workers would do, then various remedial issues arise. First of all, any ballot rejected by an absentee ballot board in conflict with this uniform standard should have been counted on Election Day. And if it should have been counted on Election Day, then presumably an “election contest” lawsuit (like Coleman v. Franken) is an appropriate procedural vehicle to correct that administrative error.
At times in its opinion, the three-judge trial court seemed to indicate that it was holding itself to a higher standard under the relevant Minnesota statutes than it expected of the local election officials in their own initial administrative review of absentee ballot envelopes. Only if a witness is in fact registered can an absentee ballot be counted in an election contest, the trial court appeared to say. But this standard for counting ballots in an election contest seems too stringent if (but only if) Minnesota law required that same ballot to be counted on Election Day. Assuming for the moment that the obligation of all election officials in the state (whether in precinct or on an absentee ballot board) was to count an absentee ballot if the witness’s portion of the certificate was complete on its face (and all other requirements were met), then presumably the election contest exists to correct the breach of this obligation and thus to add to the total those ballots that were wrongfully rejected. To be sure, there may have been an underlying defect with these ballots—their witnesses were not registered as they were supposed to be—but if local election officials were obligated to count these ballots anyway, despite this underlying defect (which, after all, does not concern the validity of the voters themselves), then both the candidates and the electorate have been deprived of a valid count of the votes in accordance with the requirements of Minnesota law. The failure to count ballots that were obligated by state law to be counted, especially if this failure makes a difference in which candidate is declared the winner, would seem to be an appropriate predicate for an election contest. But, of course, this is an issue of state law that, in the absence of complete clarity from the relevant statutes and precedents, could go either way.
There is also a federal Due Process question lurking in the background of this state-law remedial issue. As Rick Hasen has observed, if the Minnesota Supreme Court were to say in the Coleman v. Franken appeal that certain absentee ballots should be counted under state law, and if a federal court were to consider that interpretation of state law to be a change from how the same state statutes would have been interpreted at the time the ballots were rejected, then this change-in-interpretation during the vote-counting process presents a serious Due Process issue. But if the Minnesota Supreme Court were credible in saying that its interpretation is not a change, and that the ambiguous statute would have been interpreted in the same way last November, then the Due Process concern diminishes.
Does State Law Provide a Remedy for Wrongfully Counted Ballots, Which Should Have Been Rejected?
The hardest state law issue in Coleman v. Franken is one that, perhaps surprisingly, might end up not arising in the specific contest of the “witness registration” scenario. Before undertaking this essay, I had assumed that it would. As indicated, I figured that local officials throughout the state would be obligated by Minnesota law to reject any absentee ballot if the witness was not registered, and thus there would arise the difficult question of what remedy might exist for ballots wrongly counted in violation of this obligation.
But if the above statutory analysis is sound, then local officials—even those on absentee ballot boards—were not required to reject ballots if the witness portion of their certificates were complete on their face. (Again, either localities had discretion to accept or reject, or localities were obligated to accept them if they were complete on their face.)
Still, it is worth considering briefly the state-law remedial issues if local officials had been obligated to reject these ballots, but counted them in violation of that obligation. For one thing, it is still plausible to interpret the relevant statutes as entailing that obligation for absentee ballot boards. (On this view, since they can check the SVRS, they must; whereas obviously precinct workers can’t be expected to do the impossible.) Moreover, similar remedial issues might arise with respect to any of the other eight scenarios identified in Coleman’s brief. In other words, even if there is local discretion with respect to this particular scenario, or the obligation in this context is to count the ballot, other scenarios may present the opposite conclusion: for example, a non-discretionary obligation to reject an absentee ballot envelope when the voter is not registered.
For those who have been following Coleman v. Franken closely, the Minnesota Supreme Court precedent of Bell v. Gannaway, 227 N.W.2d 797 (1975), has seemed a large obstacle to any state-law remedy for a wrongfully counted absentee ballot. Indeed, the three-judge trial court repeatedly and explicitly cites Bell for this proposition. But focusing on the role that absentee ballot boards play in this case, in contrast to precinct workers, makes me wonder about the applicability of Bell as a precedent. I’m not sure that Coleman’s brief did as much as it might have to highlight this point.
The relevant holding of Bell involved a single—“and crucial” (p. 801)—absentee ballot counted at a precinct despite lacking the voter’s signature on the envelope. The court ruled that the lack of signature disqualified the ballot and that precinct workers should have rejected it because of its facial defect, but that a candidate was precluded from raising this breach in an election contest when the candidate failed to exercise an opportunity to challenge the counting of the ballot at the precinct. Coleman argues that this “waiver” holding in Bell should not apply to his election contest, because he did not have a similar opportunity to challenge the initial decision of local officials to accept or reject absentee ballots. This argument might have been made more forcefully by pointing out that the lack of an opportunity to challenge is especially true where absentee ballot boards make this decision. Not only is there no provision in Minnesota law for a candidate or political party to place a challenger before an absentee ballot board—thus distinguishing the situation from a precinct where partisan challengers may be present—but the successor statute to the one relied on in Bell, section 204C.13 subd. 6, has no applicability to the proceedings of an absentee ballot board. Instead, it concerns what happens to ballots at the precinct. This statute provides.
At any time before the ballots of any voter are deposited in the ballot boxes, the election judges or any individual who was not present at the time the voter procured the ballots, but not otherwise, may challenge the eligibility of that voter and the deposit of any received absentee ballots in the ballot boxes.
Whatever else this statutory language may mean—and its “but not otherwise” clause, moved since Bell, is particularly ambiguous—it does not seem to provide an opportunity to challenge an absentee ballot board’s refusal to undertake certain inquiries before marking an absentee ballot “Accepted” and depositing it in the appropriate ballot box to be counted on Election Night. Rather, in this situation, the absentee ballot has already arrived from the board marked “Accepted,” and thus it is too late at the precinct to say that the ballot should not be counted.
Just suppose, for example, that an absentee ballot board never checked the SVRS to see if a witness was registered. A candidate had no opportunity to challenge the absentee ballot board’s decision before it was made. Nor does the candidate or a political party have an opportunity to challenge that same decision on Election Night when the “Accepted” absentee ballots are counted at the precinct. For one thing, there would be no technological capacity for the precinct workers to undo the absentee ballot board’s decision not to examine the SVRS.
Thus, in its consideration of the Coleman v. Franken appeal, if the Minnesota Supreme Court ever gets to the point where the state-law issue of whether the Bell waiver analysis applies, the issue of that precedent’s applicability is at least more complicated than the trial court’s analysis would indicate. There also would be other difficult remedial issues to consider if the court, going down this particular path, got past the Bell waiver issue: for example, may the court declare the winner of the election unknowable if it were to find that the number of ballots that were counted, but were obligated to have been rejected, is greater than the winning candidate’s margin of victory? Or, instead, does the election contest fail because there is no evidence on which candidate benefited from these unlawful ballots (the conclusion reached in the 2004 Washington gubernatorial election)? But I have touched on those issues in previous commentary, and I will leave any further analysis of them to another occasion.
Some Concluding Observations
What should one make of all this uncertainty over the state-law issues in this appeal? I’ve only considered the first of the nine scenarios identified by Coleman, and it seems more than complicated enough. Perhaps the issues will seem clearer after Franken’s brief and Coleman’s reply. But I’m not betting that complete clarity will reign in time for oral argument. And, of course, there are still the federal constitutional questions, even after all the state law issues are resolved (as well as other, non-Bell, issues of procedural bar, which might preclude reaching some of these issues on the merits).
One begins to wonder if practical considerations should overtake rigorous legal analysis in the minds of the Minnesota Supreme Court justices. According to opinion polls, the public is clamoring for this disputed election to be resolved. A remand to the trial court might spark a public outcry.
I, for one, didn’t think there needed to be an appeal in the first place. As I’ve written elsewhere, the demands of democratic legitimacy can be satisfied by a fair trial before a well-structured panel, as this three-judge court was. In the context of a major statewide election, where the need for closure is especially pressing, democratic legitimacy does not demand “de novo” review of the relevant legal questions by a second multi-member judicial panel, however fair it also might be in its consideration of the very same questions.
Still, Minnesota law undeniably permitted this appeal. Because it did, the Minnesota Supreme Court should adjudicate the appeal according to law, not politics. Therefore, as difficult and complicated as both the state and federal law issues in the appeal may be, the court’s justices must grapple with those issues as best they can using the impartial methods of judicial inquiry. The justices must follow the law wherever it leads them, even if that place is an uncomfortable one politically.
Edward B. Foley is Director of the Election Law @ Moritz program. His primary area of current research concerns the resolution of disputed elections. Having published several law journal articles on this topic, he is currently writing a book on the history of disputed elections in the United States. He is also serving as Reporter for the American Law Institute's new Election Law project. Professor Foley's "Free & Fair" is a collection of his writings that he has penned for Election Law @ Moritz. View Complete Profile