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Researching Election & Voting Law

Terms & Concepts

Voters' Rights

Campaign Finance

Election Administration

Election Fraud / Voter Fraud

Election Crimes

Redistricting

Apportionment

Federal Election Commission (FEC)

Campaign Reform

Law and Politics

Voters' Rights

The fundamental right to vote includes:

  • The right to participate in elections on an equal basis with other citizens in the jurisdiction;
  • The right to have one's vote counted;
  • The right to an undiluted vote, that is, the right to cast a ballot equal among voters;
  • The right to be free from restrictions that deny the franchise or render its exercise so difficult and inconvenient as to essentially deny the right.

- 25 Am. Jur. 2d Elections §100 (2004).

Campaign Finance

Laws and regulations placing "restrictions on contributions [or donations] to candidates, parties, campaigns, or other political organizations, and ... limits on [campaign] expenditures [or spending]."

- Michael Dimino et al., Voting Rights and Election Law, 786 (2010).

Election Administration

Election administration is the mechanics of how elections are run, ranging from preparations for the election, to the methods by which people cast their ballots, to how winners are declared.

- Dr. Michael McDonald, Department of Public and International Affairs, George Mason University

Includes determining methods for voter registration, designating polling locations, poll worker management, counting votes, etc.

Election Fraud

The illegal interference with the process of elections.

Includes such activities as:

  • voter intimidation
  • ballot stuffing
  • destruction of ballots

Examples of election crimes:

  • illegal campaign contributions
  • racial or ethnic discrimination in voting