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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Sandy Colloquy

This is a colloquy concerning the response to Hurricane Sandy

Sandy Colloquy 1: Could Election Day Be Washed Out?

Could Election Day be washed out? With Hurricane Sandy and Election Day upon us, this perfect storm could lead to a very imperfect election.

Hurricane Sandy has the potential to disrupt elections in key swing states. It is already affecting Virginia and its future path could wreak havoc in New Hampshire or Ohio and other states with close congressional races.

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Sandy Colloquy 2: Can Paper Save Election Day from Sandy?

This comment is part of a colloquy initiated by John Fortier's thoughts on the potential implications of Hurricane Sandy for this year's election.

John raises important questions, both about how to handle the electoral implications of Hurricane Sandy specifically and also more broadly about how states and the federal government can better prepare for future emergencies that disrupt voting on Election Day.

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Sandy Colloquy 3: Unintended Consequences

[This post continues a colloquy begun yesterday. Read Steve Huefner's initial post here; read John Fortier's first post here; read Ned Foley's first post here.]

The winds are still blowing here in Virginia, so the question of how the storm might affect our election is a live one. Ned Foley, as he often does, has deepened the discussion of this question, and he has turned our focus to the exact issue at hand.

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Sandy Colloquy 4: Hurricane Sandy, the 2012 Election, and Some Room for Compromise

[This post continues a colloquy begun yesterday. Read Steve Huefner's initial post here; read John Fortier's first post here; read Ned Foley's first post here; read John Fortier's second post here.

National disasters bring the country together. In the aftermath of the shooting at a "Congress on Your Corner" event featuring Representative Gabby Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, the United States reflected on our politics and civil discourse. Indeed, just two weeks later Members of Congress sat next to their political opponents at the State of the Union address to exhibit a sense of bipartisanship. The country demonstrated similar rallying behind President George W. Bush after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

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Sandy Colloquy 5: Making Every Effort to Vote On-time

If modern American political history is any guide, every effort will be made to conduct the election on its regularly scheduled date in all states affected by Sandy, for the simple reason that the USA (and the world, given the USA's out-sized importance to it since the 1940's) needs to have a result very quickly in order to make a smooth, effective transition possible if the challenger wins. That real-world pressure heavily affected the Bush v. Gore litigation's resolution. And so unless conditions are truly unworkable, in major metro areas especially, I expect the election to go forward on Nov. 6th, even if the results are messy in the sense that some voters don't show up for weather-related reasons and some machines fail and voters are asked to fill out paper ballots for that reason.

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Commentary

Daniel P. Tokaji

An Ominous Supreme Court Decision

Daniel P. Tokaji

Anyone who cares about the right to vote should be very concerned by yesterday’s 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Husted v. NAACP . The one-paragraph stay order effectively stops same day registration in Ohio, which was to start today, and reduces the early voting period. The evidence showed that these voting opportunities were heavily used by African American and poor voters, who will be disproportionately burdened by the cuts. Even more disconcerting, however, are the implications of yesterday’s decision for the future of the right to vote.

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In the News

Daniel P. Tokaji

Scott Walker case shows growing closeness between politicians and wealthy allies

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article in The Washington Post about an investigation into allegations Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker illegally coordinated fundraising efforts with outside conservative groups during his campaign. State and federal laws restrict candidates from sharing political strategy with outside organizations. Tokaji noted, however, it is sometimes difficult, based on the current laws, to prove what is coordination and what is simply cooperation between the parties.

“They are trying to do as much as they can to cooperate without illegally coordinating — which, in truth, is not that difficult to do, because the line for what counts as coordination is a particularly high bar,” he said.

 

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Info & Analysis

Seventh Circuit Issues Opinions Regarding Stay in Wisconsin Voter ID Case

A divided Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued opinions today on its denial of a motion for reconsideration. A 3-judge panel of the court granted a stay last week allowing Wisconsin's voter ID law to take effect. The cases are Frank v. Walker and LULAC v. Deininger.

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