“Postponing Presidential Elections not Authorized by Federal Law”

Russell Levine has posted this draft on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

The presidential election process is a hot mess. Even an uneventful election cycle is a complicated series of steps controlled by numerous legal provisions. Given this complexity, any unusual circumstance can lead to a crisis. Gaming potential scenarios is therefore an area of research.

This article is in response to the article POSTPONING FEDERAL ELECTIONS DUE TO ELECTION EMERGENCIES by Michael Morley. Specifically, it is in response to aspects of the article which discuss postponing elections for presidential electors.

In his article, Morley contends that federal statutes:
• Allow elections for presidential electors to be postponed
• Have provisions that apply in cases of emergencies
• Specifically authorize “post-Election Day” elections

Part I presents the law and disputes these claims. It reviews constitutional provisions and federal statutes that resulted from legislation based on those provisions. Claims based on judicial relief are not disputed.

Part II discusses related congressional debate and the subsequent analysis Morley provides.

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