What Happens (in Our Courts) When America Votes?



Webinars help judges and others better grasp election law

When should election officials stop counting mailed ballots in Wisconsin? What should mail-in-voting witness requirements look like in North Carolina? How many voter drop boxes should there be in Ohio? How soon should voters in Texas be allowed to vote?

These questions and many others are being answered by judges who are ruling on the 250 or so election-related lawsuits that have been filed this year, and many more are anticipated to be filed after the November 3 election.

The Election Law Program, a joint effort by NCSC and The College of William & Mary Law School, provides resources to help judges better understand the intricacies of election law. With the presidential election fast approaching, the program is hosting a series of webinars with the theme “What Happens (In Our Courts) When America Votes?”

“This election season, as everyone who follows the news knows, has been extremely litigious, and the Election Law Program is doing everything we can to provide the best information to judges and other court professionals,” said Amy McDowell, NCSC’s director of executive leadership education and its liaison to the Election Law Program. “The webinars are just another way we can fulfill our mission to help the courts as they work to rule on election law cases.”

The webinars, designed for judges and other court professionals, are open to the public. The next one, “Election Safeguards for the Judiciary,” starts at 2 p.m. ET today, October 14. Register here. The final one in the series, which starts at 4 p.m. ET Monday, October 19, is called “Perspectives on Election Litigation Communications from the Courts.” Register here for that one.

Two previous webinars on election law and litigation can be viewed here.

In another effort to help judges, the law program’s digital library was recently reorganized, with statutes organized by hot-topic areas such as absentee voting, mail-in voting, in-person voter identification, and COVID-19-related developments.

“To date, over 240 election law cases have been filed in state and federal courts,” said NCSC President Mary McQueen. “The Election Law Program is designed to provide nonpartisan information to judges and other court professionals about various questions that might arise in election law cases. During 2020, NCSC has hosted a series of webinars on ways state courts can navigate the challenges of COVID-19. The election law webinars are similarly designed to prepare the state courts to manage election law cases.”

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