Election Administration and the Law
J.D. Course 314
| 2 credit hours
Election administration reform has generated tremendous public, policy and media interest in the last several years. Beginning with the controversial 2000 election, continuing with passage of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 as a response to the events of that election, and culminating in the 2008 presidential election – among the most closely-scrutinized in American history – election reform has been a topic of debate and study nationwide.
This course will examine the election process and its accompanying body of law – a wide-ranging tangle of statutes, regulations, case law and practice at several levels that shapes the voting process across America. The course will focus on three tensions that pervade election administration: central vs. local authority; access to the franchise vs. integrity of the process; and calls for fairness vs. the need for administrative certainty. Students will be responsible for a paper exploring these tensions in the context of current topics in election administration, such as:
• the proper role for the federal government in establishing national election standards;
• state and local variation in the voting process (e.g., provisional voting, voter ID);
• voter registration and the role of outside groups in the process;
• the impact of partisanship in the administration of elections at the state and local level; and
• voting technology.
Students should also be aware that this course is taught as a seminar and incorporates substantial class discussion. Consequently, student preparation and participation will be weighted heavily in grading for the course.
||Room / Days / From-To
|This course is not currently scheduled.