Both the Republicans and the Democrats are preparing for some tough races that could go all the way to recounts, by hiring armies of election lawyers. According to Bloomberg Politics, the Republican National Lawyers Association is training upwards of 1,000 lawyers in a series of 50 sessions leading up to election day, to deal with any legal issues that should come up on November 4. This is in addition to the legal teams held by national party committees and the thousands of volunteer lawyers, from advocacy groups and lobbying firms, that are ready to step in if the need arises. The Democrats meanwhile, have a full time staff of trained lawyers focusing on poll access across 23 states. The DNC is requiring that their poll workers use mobile app “incident trackers” to quickly communicate with state party directors about anything that takes place on election day that could effect the way people vote – from broken ballot counters to bad weather, as well as more nefarious instances of potential vote tampering. These apps will then allow party leaders to send out mass emails to registered voters about possible changes in voting places or extended voting hours.
On the lawyer side of things, a number of groups are harnessing technology to keep track of any legal hinderances for voters. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law for instance, has createdtheir own mobile app to allow voters to confirm their registration and find out the voting requirements in their state.
The reasons for these election day contingency plans are two fold. For starters, the willingness of national parties to demand recounts has dramatically increased since 2000, especially in an election like 2014, where the balance of power on Capitol Hill is on the line. Polls are showing a dead heat in a few races including the Georgia and Louisiana Senate races, which could inspire parties to ask for recounts if there isn’t a clear winner on November 4.