This, Too, Shall Pass … Probably

By Stephen Adams

Tomorrow it will all be over. Heck, I love politics and I’m already ready to stick a fork in this election cycle. While I haven’t reached the level of young Abigael Evans, I must admit that her actions look somewhat cathartic. (Although that may or may not have something to do with my upcoming Evidence final.)

Now, I really want you to know that it will all end tomorrow. Seriously, look at me, take a deep breath and repeat after me: “This will all be over tomorrow.” Half of us will be crying in front of the television, while the other half will celebrate. (Probably in the other half’s faces; I have no shame in admitting that I will be one of those people if my guy wins. This stuff is better than football.) But I need you to know something: this could actually keep going.

You and I both know about the nightmare scenario. We all talk about it every four years, and we laugh it off and think about how it hasn’t happened since 1824, and how silly we are for even thinking about it. It’s only those fringe journalists that bring it up just so they can think they look cool and edgy. Well, unfortunately for you, I was one of those journalists in undergrad, so you’re stuck with the story.

ABC News has outlined five specific paths to a 269-269 tie in the Electoral College, and Bloomberg News has reflected on what would happen if the election was punted to Congress. But we’re in law school, so it’s all about the lawyers. NPR reports that, of course, both major candidates have teams of lawyers ready to descend upon whatever swing state happens to be too close. (Why do I get a feeling that there are a few pre-purchased one way tickets to Columbus already?)

If you think you may, someday, become one of those folks anxiously awaiting the call to fly to Ohio, Florida, Colorado, or whatever state it will be next time, here’s some resources to help you study election law.

Research Guides

Library of Congress Research Guide – Hey, it was the government that got us into this mess, the least they can do is help guide your research.

University of Chicago LibGuide – Why not use the school where President Obama taught Con Law?

University of California-Irvine – They’ve got the most electoral votes, so why not?


Election Law at Moritz – How ironic that the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law maintains a non-profit election law research program.

Election Law Blog – Rick Hasen’s election law blog is a must-read for election law folks.

VoteLaw Blog – Lesser known and less-frequently updated, but still features smaller stories that have fallen through the cracks about smaller, more local elections.

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