Wednesday, October 5, 2016

On the Ballot

For obvious reasons, interest in election law spikes every four years. But even in non-presidential election years, laws related to the electoral process have a huge impact on citizens. They dictate the boundaries of election districts (such as the North Carolina redistricting at issue in the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case, McCrory v. Harris) , create requirements for voter eligibility (such as North Carolina's controversial voter ID law, partially invalidated by the 4th Circuit in July; a deadlocked U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant a petition for review, leaving the 4th Circuit precedent in place), and even determine the order in which candidates' names appear (such as the 2016 North Carolina legislative change, favoring the party of the current Governor).

Election laws are complex and vary widely by state. The National Survey of State Legislatures website offers a free roundup of Election Laws and Procedures, providing 50-state surveys on topics like voter ID requirements, registration rules, and maintenance of voter rolls. (For Law School community members, both Westlaw and Lexis Advance offer similar 50-state surveys on election law topics. On Westlaw, the SURVEYS database includes a Statutory Survey on Election Law; in Lexis Advance, follow the path Secondary Sources > LexisNexis® 50-State Surveys, Statutes & Regulations > Governments to view available election-related topics.)

For more information and the latest news about election law developments, check out Election Law Blog, Ballot Access News, and the CQ Voting and Elections Collection (available through Duke University). To locate books or other materials in the Goodson Law Library, try a search of the Duke Libraries Catalog for the subject heading "Election Law -- United States" or Ask a Librarian.