State of Elections

William & Mary Law School | Election Law Society

Tag: Voting restrictions

The 2008 Election: How Indiana “Hoped to Change” Early Voting Patterns After Obama’s Victory 

By: Evan Fraughinger

 It was late at night on November 4, 2008, and I was watching the election results from my house in Fort Wayne, Indiana. To everyone’s surprise, as Indiana’s results finalized, Barack Obama was declared the winner of the State. This was the first time that a Democratic presidential candidate won Indiana since Johnson’s victory in 1964 and only the second time since World War II. Voter turnout in Indiana’s two largest and most Democratic counties, Marion County and Lake County, largely explained President Obama’s narrow 28,000 vote victory in the traditionally red state. While many Hoosiers celebrated, according to new allegations in a lawsuit filed by Common Cause Indiana and the NAACP, several Republican officials and the Marion County Election Board began planning how to prevent another Democratic upset. 
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Vilified and Disenfranchised: Indiana’s New Law Blocks Sex Offenders from Common Polling Place

By: Jacob Kipp

The public’s sentiment toward sex offenders has long been overwhelmingly negative, fueling an ever-increasing number of legal restrictions. Perhaps the most reviled of all offenders are child molesters, which  have been the target of national registration programs (though such registries are often over-inclusive). Those registries are widely used to restrict sex offenders from being anywhere near schools, parks, or youth centers. But what happens when sex offenders want to exercise their right to vote and are not allowed into their polling place because it happens to be a school?

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Oregon’s New Hyper Motor Voter Law

By: Matthew Hubbard

Voter identification laws of various forms, which are currently enforced in 32 states, continue to garner significant national media attention and spark contentious debate. Proponents argue that the laws prevent voter fraud and preserve the legitimacy of the electoral process while opponents claim that in-person voter fraud is a phantom problem and that these claims are merely pretext for partisan vote suppression. As the public attention and debate surrounding these voting restrictions increases, however, one state has managed to quietly pass legislation that moves as far as possible in the opposite direction.

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