WILLIAMSBURG, VA – The Election Law Society and the Election Law Program at William
& Mary Law School announce the Seventh Annual Election Law Symposium to take place on
Thursday, February 21st. The event will feature prominent election law attorneys, the Colorado
Secretary of State, election law scholars, and Virginia registrars. The symposium centers upon
voting delays and is titled “We Have to Fix That: Bipartisan Solutions to Election Day Delays.”
The symposium was inspired by President Obama’s speech following the election when he said,
“I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the
very first time or waited in line for a very long time…. by the way, we have to fix that.“ This
event will draw upon various panelists’ expertise in election law in an attempt to formulate
concrete ideas and bipartisan solutions for how to manage elections and limit voting delays.
“Since the 2000 presidential election, the public has become more interested in how our elections
run. Congress passed significant reforms in 2003, yet problems still persist. In 2012 voters,
across several states, experienced long lines, so now the focus is on how to solve this
problem” explained Election Law Society Co-President Grant McLoughlin.
Panelists scheduled to participate include Robert Bauer, Partner at Perkins Coie and former
White House Counsel, General Counsel to President Obama’s re-election Committee, Obama for
America and to the Democratic National Committee; Cleta Mitchell, Partner at Foley & Lardner
and legal counsel to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the National Republican
Congressional Committee and co-counsel for the National Rifle Association in the Supreme
Court case involving the 2002 federal campaign finance law; the Hon. Scott Gessler, Colorado
Secretary of State who has also served on bipartisan election boards and commissions, including
the Election Reform Commission that made recommendations to the General Assembly
following the 2008 elections; Dr. John Fortier of the Bipartisan Policy Center, a political scientist
who focuses on governmental and electoral institutions and was previously a research fellow at
the American Enterprise Institute, and Prof. Paul Herrnson of the Center For American Politics
and Citizenship at the University of Maryland.
Doug Chapin of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota will
serve as the moderator. Mr. Chapin is working to develop and expand an Election Academy
aimed at delivering high-quality research and learning opportunities to election administrators.
Mr. Chapin, one of our nation’s preeminent experts in election administration, served as the
director of Election Initiatives at Pew Charitable Trust for ten years prior to joining the
Election Law Society Co-President Kayla McCann stated “Our symposium draws together a
panel of experts to discuss solutions to the problem of Election Day Delays. This year students
will work with Virginia Voter Registrars to implement reforms in time for the
2013 Gubernatorial Election.”
The event is set for February 21 at 3:30 PM at the McGlothlin Courtroom at the William & Mary
School of Law. The event is free and open to the public. This annual event is possible with
generous assistance from the William & Mary Institute of Bill of Rights Law and the National
Center for State Courts.
Created in 2005 as a joint venture of the National Center for State Courts and the Law School,
the Election Law Program seeks to provide practical assistance to state court judges in the United
States who are called upon to resolve difficult election law disputes (see Program materials
available at www.electionlawissues.org). The Election Law Society is the student organization
created to generate interest in and educate students about this rapidly expanding and extremely
important area of practice.