Pat Nixon Election Picture

Welcome to the UK College of Law’s Election Law Society

by: Joshua A. Douglas, Associate Professor of Law

Welcome to the UK College of Law's election law blog, which will chronicle and discuss significant election law issues in Kentucky and across the nation!

The effort stems from a collaboration between the Election Law Society, a student group dedicated to exploring the role of law in politics, and myself, a scholar and teacher of election law.

Other Things on the Ballot

By: Clifton Rogers

The presidential race is the biggest news in the country right now. In addition to that very important race, there are several key ballot measures on the ballot across the country. Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada are voting on legalizing recreational use of Marijuana. Measures on legalizing Marijuana are winning in Massachusetts and Maine and losing in Arizona at the time of this post. Florida passed a measure to expand the use of medical marijuana.

Post-Election Procedure in Michigan

By: Joshua Douglas

Two states—Michigan and New York—do not have separate election code provisions discussing election contests, but each state provides a remedy of quo warranto, which ultimately serves the same function by requiring the ouster of a candidate who has already taken office but then loses a post-election challenge.

Special Election in Kentucky’s 1st District Coincides with District’s General Election

By: Jeremy Faulk

In Kentucky’s first congressional district, there are two elections for the U.S. House tonight. The general and special elections for the 1st District’s House seat are being held concurrently. Both are contested by James Comer (R) and Samuel Gaskins (D). The winner of the general election will take office on January 3, 2017. The winner of the special election will complete retired Congressman Ed Whitfield’s term so will serve in the lame-duck Congress for the remainder of 2016. The winner of both is likely to be Republican James Comer as evidenced by the partial results received already. (Comer is currently approximately 40% ahead of Gaskins.)

Extending Polling Hours

By: Clifton Rogers

Several lawsuits have been filed around the country to keep polls open following electronic issues and voting irregularities.

A lawsuit was filed in Durham County, North Carolina to keep polls open for an extra hour. Problems occurred with the electronic poll books that are generally used at polling locations. Polling locations had to make a switch to paper books. The shift was accompanied by an increase in wait-times and confusion. As a result many people were unable to vote, and apparently many people left the polling places.

A Digital Form of Voter Suppression

By: Faith Gingrich-Goetz

Ads rolled out on Twitter this past week that encouraged voters to vote for Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, from home by texting in their vote. The ads said things such as “Save Time” “Avoid The Line” “Text ‘Hillary’ to 59925 and we’ll make history together” and one was even released in Spanish. Each ad featured mentions that it was “Paid for by Hillary for President 2016” and some directed voters to hillaryclinton.com.

Professor Douglas on CNN

The Election Law Society's Faculty Advisor, Professor Joshua A. Douglas, appeared on CNN today to discuss voter fraud and and the right to vote. 

See more here: http://www.snappytv.com/tc/3203942.

Electoral College: A Beautiful Mess

By: Brandon T. Hamilton

From the Constitutional Convention compromise to our modern day Presidential election, the Electoral College has decided presidential elections in much the same way for the last 200 years. Only four times in the history of the Electoral College has the candidate winning the popular vote not successfully won the Electoral College. George W. Bush is the only president in the last 128 years to lose the popular vote and win the White House. According to a Gallop Poll, 62% of Americans are in favor of switching to a direct popular vote system for electing the President. Only 35% are satisfied with the current Electoral College system. Two options have been proposed to either alter or abolish the Electoral College: (1) The National Popular Vote Initiative, and  (2) the complete abolition of the Electoral College in favor of a direct presidential election system.  Abolishing the Electoral College would take a constitutional amendment. A constitutional amendment requires a 2/3 vote from each house of Congress and ratification by 3/4 of the states. Accomplishing this feat would be a near impossible task.

How to Make the National Popular Vote Winner the President

By: Roger Morris

To some people the Electoral College is an overly complex system that inhibits the will of the American people. A compelling argument in favor of this notion is the fact that a candidate can be elected President without receiving the most votes. This scenario has happened four times in American history: 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000. Because of this, there has been a movement to shift the United States to a national popular vote system where the candidate with the most votes nationally wins the election.

The Problem of Faithless Electors and Other Crazy Electoral College Scenarios

By: Roger Morris

When all the votes are counted and we have a President-Elect, our long national nightmare, the 2016 election, is supposed to end. However, there is a small chance that no candidate could receive the requisite number of electoral votes, 270, to win the election outright.