[Ed. Note: If I sound flat it's because the peaceful transfer of power is a lot less exciting when power is being stripped from you by people voting against their own economic interests.]
Please send us texts (646-820-TIPS) and emails (email@example.com) about election shenanigans in your area. Note to the fringe right and fringe left: pics of menacing Black Panthers and or gun toting Tea Party members near polling places or it didn’t happen.
There will undoubtedly be election day legal issues today, but real lawyers will make their money starting tomorrow. Because that’s when the recounts will begin…
This election has me thinking about my youth, specifically 1994 (for obvious reasons). When I was a kid, people voted, the votes were counted, winners were declared, governments got shut down and the party of “no” got hoisted on its own petard.
That’s not how it works now. Now people vote, votes are counted, and the losers bitch and moan all the way to the courthouse. Losing candidates really want to live in a world where close counts.
Which is great news for lawyers! The Blog of the Legal Times has a great rundown of all the lawyers poised to make bank off of close elections today:
One question on the minds of election lawyers is whether there will be an unusually high number of contested results this year, given how close many races are and the fact that control of Congress is up in the air.
“I would be surprised if there weren’t a number of statewide contests that went at least to the recount stage,” said Sandler, Reiff & Young partner Joseph Sandler, a former general counsel to the Democratic National Committee. Still, Sandler added, for a race to be considered “true recount territory, it has to be an awfully narrow margin, well within a quarter of a point.”
Translation: Joe Sandler expects a lot of action from candidates who can’t stand that they were this close to winning, but chances of a non-frivolous recount challenges are small.
Meanwhile, one of these days somebody is going to have to actually overturn election night results via a recount, right? Benjamin Ginsburg, a Patton Boggs attorney who represented Bush-Cheney twice, and Norm Coleman last cycle, is ready to pull one of these out:
“To refight the last recount is a fatal error,” said Ginsburg… “You learn something from all experiences, and you should, but the Minnesota process is unique to Minnesota, obviously.”
Ginsburg’s clients include the Republican Governors Association, which hopes to swing several state capitals into the GOP column.
Great, glad to hear that lawyers are learning how to act like sore losers even more effectively.
There’s fame and fortune to be made as a recount lawyer, and candidates know that they’ll have to raise extra funds to pay the legal fees:
The Republican National Committee is invoking the memory of the Coleman-Al Franken recount in a fundraising appeal.
I know it’s easy to forget, especially on Election Day, but we still probably have the best electoral process in the entire world.
It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. — Sir Winston Churchill.
I’m off to vote.
Election Lawyers Get Ready for the Day After [The BLT: Blog of the Legal Times]