Candidates from Alaska to Iowa are preparing legal teams in case tight election battles go into overtime, potentially prolonging the battle for Senate control indefinitely. New voting laws in some states, razor-thin margins in others and high stakes nationwide have increased the likelihood of recounts and challenges that could drag on for weeks or even months. It’s a prospect that has both parties preparing for any contingency, mobilizing an army of staff and volunteers in their dozen top battleground states to watch for legal violations on Election Day and be prepared to fight legal battles afterwards. With six of the GOP’s top-targeted races down to margins of less than a point, both parties say any state is ripe for a post-election legal battle. Marc Elias, national Democrats’ go-to election lawyer, said he’s gearing up for issues everywhere. “I am prepared for any of the competitive states. I don’t have the luxury of knowing whether it’s gonna be a good night for the Democrats and therefore Kentucky and Georgia are close or a bad night and the close races are in Colorado and Iowa,” he said.
The most pressing concerns for the parties are potential Election Day legal violations. Rumors of planned voting fraud abound in the week leading up to it—Trading hamburgers for votes in Wisconsin’s gubernatorial race; poll watchers challenging the eligibility of every voter in Louisiana to cause huge lines; party operatives filling out and turning in mail ballots for dead voters in Colorado; misinformation intended to steer people to the wrong polling places in North Carolina and elsewhere.
While little, if any, tangible proof those misdeeds are underway has yet cropped up, both parties are preparing for all that and worse. The Democratic National Committee has already deployed two dozen staffers to around two dozen states as part of its “Voter Expansion Project,” an effort to ease access to the polls in part by trouble-shooting any last-minute issues on Election Day.
The party can alert voters via text message or email if issues crop up with their local polling places. It has data tools to monitor whether wait times and turnout are at their expected levels, and can dispatch staffers to investigate any irregularities. All of Democrats’ poll watching volunteers and staffers nationwide can share data with each other through a DNC tool meant to track issues and highlight potential trends.
Full Article: Legal teams brace for election battles | TheHill.