Post-Election Legal Battle Lines Already Drawn

Throughout this election season many of us have heard numerous reports about charges of voter fraud, voter suppression tactics, Tagg Romney‘s ties to a company that owns Ohio voting machines, and even CEOs who have threatened employees with termination should Mitt Romney lose the upcoming presidential election. We’ve heard about the respective candidates’ poll numbers and who is gaining/losing support among women, the impact of the economy, and the weight of endorsements. But what we are not hearing too much about is the preparation for the post-election battle.

With all of the questions about the influence of Super PACs and potential rigging — coupled with the not-too-distant memory of the Bush vs. Gore election in 2000 — the big legal guns have been drawn. According to a Reuters report, George W. Bush’s chief legal counsel for presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004, Benjamin Ginsberg, has been tapped to head Team Romney, while President Obama and his team will utilise the legal skills of past White House counsel, Robert Bauer.

The action has already begun and a line in the sand has been drawn; the lawyers are already actively involved with the campaigns as both attorneys were involved with negotiations about terms of the recent presidential debates such as the structure and format. Both men are veterans at these types of legal battles: Mr. Bauer has already spoken out against efforts put forth by the Republicans to change voting laws in numerous states, including the political battleground state of Ohio. For his part, Mr. Ginsberg is well known not only for his strong legal prowess but also as an adviser to the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth, the group that helped to sink then presidential candidate John Kerry’s political aspirations in 2004.

With early voting results strongly leaning towards the President in several states, but mail-in votes generally tending to skew towards Republicans, the respective teams are gearing up for a long battle if there is any hint of impropriety. But regardless of impropriety, many questions are already arising about points such as the best means for counting votes and even drawing voting districts.

The bottom line is that a contentious fight may be in the nation’s future — but here’s to hoping that the nation doesn’t have to suffer through a re-play of the Supreme Court’s candidate ‘selection’ because sensible voters will have had their say on Election Day.