News & Events
Election Law Program Receives $250,000 Grant from Joyce Foundation
Program to examine election laws and administration in five bellwether states
August 23, 2006
The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law's award-winning election law initiative, Election Law @ Moritz, has received a one-year, $250,000 grant from the Joyce Foundation to examine election laws and administration in five bellwether states: Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Professors Edward B. (Ned) Foley, Steven F. Huefner, and Daniel P. Tokaji will lead the research project and will co-author a book summarizing their findings. Based in Chicago with assets of $800 million, the Joyce Foundation funds efforts to strengthen public policies and improve the quality of life in the Great Lakes region.
Professor Huefner led the Moritz Law faculty in the development of the project with the Joyce Foundation and will be the Principal Investigator for the grant.
Professor Tokaji inspired the Election Law @ Moritz team "to think of an 'ecological' approach to the study of election administration, which is a conceptual perspective that will help make the book a major contribution to the literature of campaign law," explained Election Law @ Moritz Director Professor Foley. "Tentatively titled From Registration to Recounts, the book will examine how the separate components of an election administration system affect each other and relate to the overall political and legal culture of a state, and then compare how these five separate electoral 'ecosystems' in the Midwest differ in terms of their laws, their practices, and their ethos." "This project, in keeping with the collaborative tradition of Election Law @ Moritz and the Moritz College of Law, will involve students, staff, and faculty" said Moritz Law Dean Nancy H. Rogers.
Led by five faculty with extensive expertise in election law, and with the collaboration of 10 additional faculty with election law interests, Election Law @ Moritz is a unique, multi-faceted project to educate the public by providing reliable information and objective analysis on legal issues surrounding elections and to assist the media in covering election law issues with accuracy.
Faculty have published an e-book on Election Law, an election law reference book, accessible through the Election Law @ Moritz web site. Special workshops have drawn national experts in election law and practices and U.S. Election Assistance Commissioners to campus.
The Election Law @ Moritz web site is a comprehensive resource for academics, reporters, and the general public. The immediacy of the Internet format allows Election Law @ Moritz to track breaking litigation and provide timely analysis of cases and issues.
During election cycles, such as the upcoming fall 2006 election season, the public can turn to the Election Law @ Moritz web site where faculty experts will track and quickly post nonpartisan information and objective analysis of important election cases and issues.
Election Law @ Moritz Director Foley is one of the nation's preeminent experts on election law. His primary areas of expertise include election administration, campaign finance, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), and the intersection of election and constitutional law.
Professor Foley has repeatedly testified before government committees examining election law issues. He assisted attorneys responsible for defending the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold Act. The Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Senate Rules Committee, and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission have sought his expert opinion on election law.
Foley's academic scholarship has appeared in the Columbia Law Review, the Stanford Law and Policy Review, the George Washington Law Review, and the Election Law Journal, and has been widely cited by other legal scholars. He is a major contributor to the Election Law @ Moritz web site, especially through his Free and Fair byline. Foley is often quoted by the print media, and he is a frequent contributor to broadcast media.
Tokaji, the Associate Director of the program, is also a nationally preeminent authority on election law, HAVA, voting technology, and voting rights. He was part of the legal team that successfully challenged California's use of punch card voting machines as discriminatory. A prolific scholar, his work has appeared in the Michigan Law Review, Stanford Law & Policy Review and Yale Law Journal.
His "Equal Vote" Blog includes analysis of and commentary on election reform and voting rights issues, and the impact of changes in our election system on the voting rights of people of color, non-English speaking voters, and people with disabilities. His scholarship is widely cited and recognized as incisive and authoritative. He is regularly interviewed by print and broadcast media.
Huefner, a Senior Fellow with the program, has wide-ranging experience in election law. Prior to joining the Moritz College, he spent five years in the Office of the Senate Legal Counsel, where his responsibilities included advising the U.S. Senate in matters of contested Senate elections. His academic interests include term limits in state legislative elections, legislative redistricting, theories of representation, poll worker responsibility and training, and resolving contested elections.
As director of Moritz College's Legislation Clinic, Professor Huefner has studied many aspects of Ohio's electoral processes, including campaign finance law, lobbying regulation, other campaign practices, legislative term limits, and the initiative and referendum processes of direct democracy. His many contributions to the Election Law @ Moritz web site have received national attention, and he, too, has appeared frequently in print and broadcast media.
"We are grateful that the Joyce Foundation has shown this confidence in the Election Law @ Moritz initiative and has provided this wonderful opportunity," says Moritz Law Dean Rogers. "It also recognizes the unique contributions scholars can make in ensuring the promise of fair and free elections."