As noted by the Election Law Program, a joint project of William & Mary Law School and the National Center for State Courts, the United States has witnessed a dramatic increase in election-related litigation over the past ten years.
Legal challenges to election laws and procedures are now commonplace, and a source of considerable uncertainty and confusion.
Election administrators can be an important resource for judges deciding election disputes — they understand the laws covering voter registration and elections in their jurisdiction(s) and the practicalities of administering and implementing those laws.
Election administrators are often automatically drawn into election disputes. They may, for example, be the named defendant in a lawsuit, in which case they will be the client of (and likely principal witness/resource for) the lawyer handling the case for the jurisdiction. In other cases, the court (or a party to the case) will contact or subpoena an election official to testify as the “local expert” on the subject matter of the case.
But even if an election official is not pulled into a case, there may be ways for him/her to help a judge….