With the conventions over and Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton locked in a close contest, a ground-level fight for an edge in the presidential race will unfold this summer in the nation’s courts. Legal challenges to state election laws are still working through federal courts and possibly on to the Supreme Court this fall. The outcome of those cases on issues such as photo identification, polling locations and registration could affect voter turnout in about a dozen swing states. The courts have been siding with challengers to election law changes, including rulings in July to soften voter ID laws in Texas and Wisconsin, block a voter ID law and other election changes in North Carolina, halt a voter ID requirement in North Dakota, and strike down a registration law in Kansas.
The ground game of the presidential campaigns could matter even more this year. Besides the presidency, control of the U.S. Senate is at stake and the fate of other down-ballot races could rise and fall on the same currents.
In Michigan, for example, a federal judge in July struck down a Republican-backed state law ending straight-party voting, a practice in which a voter can cast a vote for all offices with one mark. Now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit is expected to decide on the issue before the Nov. 8 election.
“It does show you at places where the election can be expected to be close, the sides are fighting what can be a game of inches,” said Rick Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine who follows election law litigation.
Full Article: Election Law Ground Wars Underway in Federal Courts.