October 20, 2008

"Eight Years After Bush v. Gore, Why is There Still So Much Election Litigation and What Does This Mean for Voter Confidence in the Electoral Process?"

My latest Findlaw guest column is now available (and check out their Elections 2008 page). My column begins:

    With Election Day just a few weeks away, newspapers and blogs are filled with reports about election litigation. In Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and other battleground states disputes are working their way through state and federal courts-with one already leading to a Supreme Court decision. Why is this happening, eight years after the 2000 Florida debacle in which public officials promised to fix the way we conduct elections? And what does it mean for future public confidence in the electoral process?

    The short answer to why this is occurring is this: We haven't made some important changes in election laws that should have been made soon after Florida 2000, and some of the post-2000 changes that were put into place have actually made things worse. Add to that some very heated partisan rhetoric about voter suppression and voter fraud, and we have the recipe for continued legal battles over election administration. These battles are troubling, as they undermine voter confidence in the process, and pose a small, but serious, risk of election meltdown in the case of a close election.

Posted by Rick Hasen at October 20, 2008 08:42 AM