Pat Nixon Election Picture

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

by: Joshua A. Douglas, 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.

Power vs. the People: How Maine Voters Saved Ranked-Choice Voting

By Seth Woods

The voters of Maine have spoken about how they wanted their elections to be conducted. Several times. Yet their legislators have repeatedly tried to prevent the electorate’s wishes from being fulfilled.

What in the World is Happening In Florida: Part One

By Zack Damron

Like the recount debacle in 2000, Florida is at the center of controversy this election cycle. Only this time, it isn’t the Presidential race. The Senate race between Republican (and current Governor) Rick Scott and incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson has focused on two counties, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. (There are other recounts in Florida for other races, which we will explore in future posts.)

Educators on the Ballot: #120Strong to the Statehouse

By Seth Woods

One of the most unique events of the 2018 election campaign was the increased number of public workers who ran for office, including police officers, firefighters, and first responders. The most prominent group of candidates running in 2018, however, were public educators. According to the National Education Association, over 1800 educators filed as candidates this year. In Kentucky, 36 current or former educators ran for positions in the General Assembly.

Do Negative Campaign Ads Influence Campaigns Negatively?

By Sarah Spalding

“Unfit.” “Liberal mob.” “Conservative alt right.” This election cycle and in innumerable ones past, registered and unregistered citizens eligible to vote are bombarded by this type of cacophonous rhetoric in the mail. In addition, nearly every commercial break during local broadcasts features a monochromatic “worst of” highlight reel of a candidate while a robust voice espouses fear-mongering buzzwords.

Voter ID: Voter Suppression or Election Protection?

By Brent House

Voter I.D. initiatives are on the ballot in two U.S. states this election cycle. Currently, 34 states have some form of Voter ID requirement. North Carolina and Arkansas are considering amending their state constitutions to include provisions that require voters to show valid photo IDs before they are able to vote.

When Looking for a “Blue-Wave,” Sweat the Small Stuff

By Joe Scherpenberg

Meet Aftab Pureval: the 36-year-old Democratic challenger to Steve Chabot in OH-01. Pureval’s star shot up after winning an election for Hamilton County Clerk of Courts in 2016. As one of the more closely watched congressional races in the country, Pureval’s campaign has been derailed in the last two months by allegations of election law violations. 

Felon Voting Rights & the 2018 Midterm Elections

By Ellen Hancock

Whether or not convicted felons can vote varies widely between states. In the most lenient states (Vermont and Maine), felons never lose their right to vote, while in the harshest (such as Kentucky), felons do not regain their vote until they are specifically pardoned by the governor.

The Day that the Rights Went Out in Georgia

By Joe Scherpenberg

U.S. District Court Judge Eleanor Ross granted an injunction mandating that Georgia allow some 3,000 individuals vote.The voters were “purged” from eligibility because their signatures did not live up to the controversial “exact match” standard, which flags voter registrations for small discrepancies as potentially noncitizens. Interestingly, the top election official in Georgia, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, is running for governor. 

What is Marsy’s Law?

By Chase Thomas

On the Kentucky ballot this year, as well as the ballots of five other states, is a constitutional amendment to provide what is being called “rights for crime victims.”