December 01, 2010
"How Do You Spell M-U-R-K-O-W-S-K-I? Part I: The Question of Assistance to the Voter"
Chad Flanders has posted this draft on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
After Murkowski declared her write-in candidacy, the Alaska Division of Elections distributed a list of eligible write-in candidates to polling places, in case voters had questions about how to properly spell the name of a write-in candidate. Both parties, sensing this would benefit Murkowski, cried foul, and challenged the new policy in Alaska state court as a violation of the Division’s own regulations prohibiting the distribution of "information" about write-in candidates at polling places.
This essay examines four issues regarding voter assistance in the Murkowski litigation: (1) how to interpret statutes and regulations regarding voter assistance; (2) what kind of assistance is permissible and what kind is not; (3) whether the state can legitimately handicap the ability of voters to write-in the name of a candidate; and (4) how decisions on assistance to voters before the election might affect a court's disposition on cases that arise after the election.
I have not read this yet but I am a huge Chad Flanders fan.
Posted by Rick Hasen at December 1, 2010 05:31 PM