State of Elections

William & Mary Law School | Election Law Society

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Toeing the Line: FEC, DOJ, and Coordination Between Super PACs and Candidates

By Staff Writer:

Five years ago, the Supreme Court’s decisions in Citizens United v. FEC and Speechnow v. FEC led to the creation of Super PACs, or independent expenditure-only political committees. Super PACs differ from candidate or political party committees in that they cannot contribute directly to candidates; they may only engage in independent spending on advertising, voter outreach, and the like. Furthermore, although Super PACs may support a particular candidacy, they are strictly prohibited from “coordinating” with candidate or political party committees. Continue reading

William & Mary Election Law Society Co-President Published

By William & Mary Election Law Society

We are excited to announce that Allison Davis, one of this year’s co-presidents of the Election Law Society, has been accepted for publication in the William & Mary Business Law Review, Vol. 7 (2016). Davis’s note, “Presupposing Corruption:  Access, Influence, and the Future of the Pay-to-Play Legal Framework” examines the Court’s shifting views on corruption, applies it to various pay-to-play laws currently in effect, and ultimately concludes that the legal and constitutional framework for much of pay-to-play law as it currently stands rests on shaky ground.

See more from McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP:

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Voting Laws Are Disabling The Disabled: Easy Nationwide Fixes To Re-Enfranchise Voters With Disabilities

By August Johannsen

Laws affecting voter participation are a current hot topic in the news. Voter identification, early voting, or redistricting laws are all working their way through the legal system almost certainly on their way to the Supreme Court (if they have not reached the high court already). There are mixed opinions on what these laws do. Supporters insist that the laws protect the integrity of elections by preventing voter fraud. Opponents vehemently argue that the laws are simply pretense for stopping poor and minority voters from exercising their rights at the polls. However, one group of minority voters, voters with disabilities, are severely impacted by election administration laws regarding the accessibility of elections. Their story has been largely ignored in the sound-byte thrusts and parries of the politicos and pundits. Continue reading

William & Mary Law School Election Law Society Annual Symposium Cancelled Due to Weather

By: The William & Mary Election Law Society

Due to inclement weather in Williamsburg, William & Mary’s Annual Election Law Society symposium has been cancelled as  result of school closings. In the early morning on February 26th, Williamsburg received several inches of snow, which resulted in the law school closing for the day. Several symposium panelists had also previously alerted the Election Law Society of flight cancellations in anticipation of weather. Will Cooke and Jacob Kipp of the Election Law Society did an incredible job planning and organizing this event, and society members were disappointed as months of planning evaporated in an evening.

Partnership with Georgetown Law’s Election Law Society

As promised before break, we have a great announcement to make. Georgetown’s new Election Law Society is joining our efforts to cover the moving pieces in election law in all fifty states.

We knew from day one that our goal was ambitious, so we’re glad that the desire to discuss state election law is spreading to other law schools. Posts from Georgetown law are coming soon and we’d welcome other law schools who are interested in teaming up with us.

Welcome aboard, Georgetown!


Welcome from Dean Douglas

Today, the William & Mary’s Election Law Society launches a conversation about how we vote in America, with particular focus on issues that arise out of state and local elections.

This ambitious project reflects the tremendous interest in election law among William & Mary law students. My hope is that this blog will become a valuable venue for conversation involving law students, election law scholars, and election law practitioners from across the nation on a range of important state and local election issues. I hope that you will join me in becoming part of the dialogue.

Thank you for your interest in and support of this innovative student effort.

Davison Douglas, Dean of William & Mary Law School


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It’s Our First Day – Welcome!

Thanks for visiting us on our first day at State Of Elections.  We’re posting stories every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to cover the moving pieces in state election law. To learn more about us, click over here.  To join our effort, click over here.

Your readership and comments are important to us, so please jump into the conversation.  If you’d like to receive regular email updates about our posts, or have suggestions for how we can improve, email us.

– Editors


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