• Could the Presidential Election Be Decided in the Courts?

    Okay so, the election is coming up in less than two months now, and I know what you're all thinking: Already?! I know! It's hard to imagine what we're all going to do with our lives once we no longer have a constant barrage of partisan bickering, kicking and scratching to contend with from the moments we wake up in the morning until we pass out with blistering stress-induced headaches at night.

    Don't worry. I have some very good news. There's a distinct possibility that the magic of the 2012 election season will live on for weeks, or possibly months, after Election Day. In the U.S. legal system!

    The November presidential election, widely expected to rest on a final blitz of advertising and furious campaigning, may also hinge nearly as much on last-minute legal battles over when and how ballots should be cast and counted, particularly if the race remains tight in battleground states…

    In the last few weeks, nearly a dozen decisions in federal and state courts on early voting, provisional ballots and voter identification requirements have driven the rules in conflicting directions, some favoring Republicans demanding that voters show more identification to guard against fraud and others backing Democrats who want to make voting as easy as possible…

    "In any of these states there is the potential for disaster," said Lawrence Norden of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. "You have close elections and the real possibility that people will say their votes were not counted when they should have been. That’s the nightmare scenario for the day after the election."

    Oh, thank God! I was wondering how the fragile social constructs of our society were going to end up crashing down, sending us into a violent and bloody civil war in which we were literally tearing each other to pieces in the streets. It's such a relief to finally know! I mean, I knew it was coming (I do read Drudge), I just didn't know how. And, as civilization-ending disasters go, a prolonged legal battle resulting in our nation's implosion seems pretty okay.

    I just didn't want it to be aliens. Because I have a weird thing about slimy things.

    Photo by Chris Ryan/OJO Images/Getty Images

    Tags: Judiciary


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