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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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Edward B. Foley

The Claim that the Media is Rigging the Election--and Citizens United

Edward B. Foley

This post floats a tentative thought, welcoming reaction to it (but isn't that in part what blogging is for? :-) Elsewhere, I've addressed the current claims that the election might be rigged through modern-day equivalents of old-fashioned ballot-box stuffing.  Here, I want to consider the other current claim being made: that the mainstream media is rigging (or attempting to rig) the election, as Trump, Pence, and other supporters of their ticket are claiming. 

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In the News

Edward B. Foley

Explaining how recounts and contested presidential elections work

Professor Edward Foley was quoted in Yahoo! News about vote recounts and the history of contested presidential elections. A handful of past elections haven’t been officially determined on election night, he said, including races in 1876, 1884, 1916, and 1960. The article originally appeared on the National Constitution Center’s blog, Constitution Daily.

“Elections, it must be emphasized, do not end on the last day that ballots are cast and the polls close,” Foley said. “They are officially over when the counting of all the ballots has been finally certified.”

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Info & Analysis

Federal Judge Finds Florida Absentee Voting Law Unconstitutional

Over the weekend, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker issued an order finding part of Florida\'s absentee voting law unconstitutional. In granting the plaintiffs\' motion for a preliminary injunction, Judge Walker determined that Florida\'s statutory scheme requiring automatic rejection of absentee ballots with signatures not matching those on file unlawfully disenfranchised voters. The case is Florida Democratic Party v. Detzner.

This case follows another Florida case in which Judge Walker ordered the state to extend the voter registration deadline by a week in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. That case is Florida Democratic Party v. Scott.

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