Case Report: Election Special Edition - October 29, 2020

We are less than a week away from Election Day and attention is intensifying on how the election is being run and when we should expect to know results. In our last election edition of Case Report, SSN members weigh in on some of the top questions swirling around the vote: Will the Supreme Court get involved in the presidential race? Are we already seeing voter suppression play out? And what can we expect from some of the key states that may decide the race? Finally, we include a resource for ways faculty can help protect student voting in the last days before November 3rd.

Kavanaugh has wild ideas about voting. They likely won’t matter on Election Day.
Political scientist and law professor Richard L. Hasen argues in this opinion piece that an intervention by the Supreme Court to decide the presidential election is extremely unlikely. But he also writes that if a case that might swing the outcome does come before the court, there’s great reason to be worried about the court’s protection of voting rights and the integrity of the vote. [Washington Post]

In Georgia, long lines to vote — but determined optimism, too
Voters in the key state of Georgia have been waiting in line for up to 10 hours to vote early in person, but political scientist Jennifer McCoy cautions that it’s too soon to say if this is an example of voter suppression. Enthusiasm among voters, technical glitches, and other issues could be contributing to problem, so experts must wait until election day, when all polling sites open, to compare wait times. [Los Angeles Times]

Long after murders, Black voting is still troubled in Miss.
Barriers like voter ID laws and lack of early voting in Mississippi make it, by some measures, the most difficult state in which to cast a ballot. Political scientist Conor Dowling shows how these burdens are felt most acutely by the state’s minority voters, increasing the “cost” of voting and lowering turnout. [Associated Press]

Early voter turnout in Texas, one week out from Election Day
Early voting and mail-in ballots are prompting a surge in voter registration and turnout in Texas – an impressive departure from the state’s typically low numbers – but these same factors could also delay the results of the election, explains political scientist Patrick Flavin. [KCEN-TV]

Final Actions to Protect the Student Vote
For faculty seeking advice on how to encourage student voting in the last days before the election, SSN’s Faculty Network for Student Voting Rights put together guidance including slides to prepare students for potential voting challenges and email templates to ask their administration to plan for voter intimidation. [Faculty Network for Student Voting Rights]