My Year’s Worth (or Two) of Election Law Writing

  • January 22, 2024
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Walter Olson

Following the example of two years ago, I’ve compiled this catalogue of my writings (and a few podcasts) since early January 2022 on topics of election law and process:

“A Matter Of Legislative Principle” (Maryland gerrymandering; Jan. 10, 2022)
“Talking Maryland podcasts” (Free State Notes, most on redistricting, Jan. 15, 2022)
“How To Fix the Electoral Count Act” (Cato Daily Podcast with interviewer Caleb Brown, Jan. 20, 2022)
“Election Reform for Serious People” (Cato Daily Podcast with interviewer Caleb Brown, Jan. 21, 2022)
“Dos and Don’ts of Democracy Promotion” (The Bulwark “Beg To Differ” with Mona Charen, Jan. 21, 2022)
“The 2020 Wisconsin Presidential Election, Under the Magnifying Glass” (Jan. 31, 2022)
“No, Retaliatory Gerrymandering Isn’t Fair Play” (Feb. 8, 2022)
“A Flawed Letter Opposing Electoral Count Act Reform” (Feb. 12, 2022)
“Walter Olson on the Electoral Count Act” (Cato Audio with interviewer Caleb Brown, Mar. 3, 2022)
“Should Congress Regulate Redistricting?” (CQ Researcher, Mar. 4, 2022)
“The Rocky Road To Redistricting Reform” (Mar. 11, 2022)
“Cato Scholars on the Electoral Count Act” (Mar. 21, 2022)
“The Trouble With Universal (Mandatory) Voting” (Cato Daily Podcast with interviewer Caleb Brown, May 6, 2022)
“The Trouble With Ballot Harvesting” (May 12, 2022)
“Making Voting Compulsory Is a Bad Idea — and Wouldn’t Change Our Polarized Politics” (New York Post, May 15, 2022)
“A ‘No’ To Mandatory Voting” (May 17, 2022)
“ ‘All Employees Will Be Expected To Vote For This Year’s Bond’ ” (pressure on school district employees, Jun. 9, 2022)
“Walter Olson on Election Fraud” (The Great Antidote podcast with interviewer Juliette Sellgren, Jun. 2022, highlight)
“Mandatory Voting and Election Credibility” (Jun. 20, 2022)
“From the National Constitution Center: ‘Restoring the Guardrails of Democracy’ ” (“Team Libertarian” effort, Jul. 13, 2022)
“Kibbitzing with Kagan” (Maryland Sen. Cheryl Kagan podcast, redistricting and ranked‐​choice voting among topics discussed, Jul. 15, 2022)
“RealClearPolitics Looks at Trustworthy Elections: The Role of Redistricting,” (RealClearPolitics panel discussion video, Jul. 20, 2022)

“ ‘Lost, Not Stolen’: Prominent Conservatives Refute 2020 Election Myths” (Jul. 21, 2022)
“The Jan. 6 Committee’s Findings Have Met the Appropriately High Bar for Prosecuting Trump (The UnPopulist, Aug. 3, 2022)
“When (If Ever) Should Former Presidents Be Charged With Crimes?” (Cato Daily Podcast with interviewer Caleb Brown, Aug. 10, 2022)
“Alaska’s Promising Voting Experiment” (Aug. 16, 2022)
“Restoring the Guardrails of Democracy: A Libertarian View” (on National Constitution Center project; Reason “Volokh Conspiracy,” Aug. 29, 2022, followup Sept. 1, related Cato at Liberty post Aug. 29, and related Cato Daily Podcast, Sept. 19)
“Election Subversion: Why Gore 2000 Isn’t a Fair Comparison” (Sept. 8, 2022)
“ ‘Zuckerbucks’ Didn’t Throw the 2020 Election” (Sept. 12, 2022)
“A Good Idea Deserves A Tryout” (ranked‐​choice voting; Buffalo News and other papers syndicated through Inside Sources service, Sept. 29, 2022)
“Ranked‐​Choice Voting In Local Elections: A Case for Home Rule” (Oct. 5, 2022)
“Cumulative Voting: The Good and Bad of One Election Reform” (Oct. 19, 2022)
“Election Reform on the November Ballot” (Oct. 26, 2022, and post‐​election Cato Daily Podcast, Nov. 25)
“It Was a Boring Election Day—And That’s Good” (Nov. 10, 2022)
“Cato 2022 Handbook for Policymakers” (Nov. 2022; chapters on election law and redistricting)
“Toward a Faster Ballot Count” (Nov. 23, 2022)
“Ranked‐​Choice Voting: Some Notes On the Politics” (Nov. 29, 2022)
“To Strengthen the Electoral College, Enact Electoral Count Act Reform” (Dec. 19, 2022)
“Is Ranked‐​Choice Voting Constitutional?” (Dec. 30, 2022)
“The Election Crisis We Dodged” (proposals to refuse seating to House members based on “voter suppression” theories; The Dispatch, Jan. 12, 2023
“Montgomery County Could be the Next Jurisdiction to Embrace Ranked‐​Choice Voting — If the Legislature Stays out of the Way” (Baltimore Sun, Jan. 27, 2023)
“Truthfully, Be Careful What You Wish For” (proposals to ban more false speech about elections; Inside Sources syndication, Feb. 4, 2023)
“Frederick Should Consider Ranked‐​Choice Voting” (Free State Notes, Feb. 13, 2023, followup coverage May 4, Sept. 24, Dec. 2)
“More Cold Water Thrown On Some Alarmist Election Claims” (Feb. 21, 2023)
“Statement in Opposition to Utah HB 171, ‘A Bill Repealing the Municipal Alternate Voting Methods Pilot Project’ ” (Feb. 23, 2023)
“Evaluating Alaska’s First Run With Final Four Voting” (Mar. 3, 2023)
“General Bans On Election Untruths Would Violate the First Amendment” (Mar. 10, 2023)
“Is Proportional Representation On the Way?” (Reason, Apr. 4, 2023)
“A Handsome Settlement In the Dominion‐​Fox News Case” (Apr. 18, 2023 and Cato Daily Podcast, Apr. 19)
“Why Conservatives Shouldn’t Fear Ranked‐​Choice Voting” (Real Clear Policy, Apr. 27, 2023)
“High Court Sticks With Flawed Racial‐​Redistricting Standard” (Jun. 8, 2023)
“Moore v. Harper: Supreme Court Rejects Independent State Legislature Theory” (Jun. 27, 2023 and Cato Daily Podcast, Jul. 17)
“Sorting Out the Kinks In Ranked‐​Choice Voting” (The Dispatch, Jul. 18, 2023)
“ ‘Suppression’ Or No, Most Voting‐​Law Changes Don’t Alter Partisan Outcomes” (Jul. 21, 2023)
“Trump Indicted Over Attempt to Remain In Power” (Aug. 2, 2023)
“Seven Questions About the Trump Indictment” (Aug. 4, 2023)
“The Danger of Not Prosecuting Trump’s Jan. 6 Conduct: A Conversation with Walter Olson” (The UnPopulist “Zooming In” podcast with Aaron Ross Powell and Akiva Malamet, Aug. 14, 2023)
“Will Donald Trump Attack the Legitimacy of the Supreme Court?” (The Dispatch, Aug. 15, 2023)
“Does Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment Disqualify Trump?” (Aug. 25, 2023)
“Springtime for Demagogues” (The Bulwark “Beg To Differ” podcast with Mona Charen, Aug. 25, 2023)
“Vivek Ramaswamy’s Conditions for Allowing Elections” (Aug. 30, 2023)
“Republicans Will Encourage Voting Before Election Day” (Sept. 22, 2023)
“Election Law and Policy with Walter Olson” (Maryland Association of Counties Conduit Street Podcast with Kevin Kinnally and Michael Sanderson, Sept. 22, 2023)
“Ballot Measures: A Preview” (RCV on ballot; Oct. 13, 2023)
“Grading Maryland’s redistricting performance” (Free State Notes, Oct. 18, 2023)
“Don’t Blame Ballot Harvesting Scandals On Drop Boxes” (Oct. 20, 2023)
“Should Ranked‐​Choice Voting Be Adopted?” (“Future of Freedom” podcast with interviewer Scot Bertram, Oct. 20, 2023, highlight)
“Privacy, Transparency, and Individual Ballots” (Nov. 10, 2023)
“Should Election Authorities Publish the Records of Individual Voters?” (Nov. 29, 2023)
“Colorado Supreme Court Rules Trump Off Ballot” (Dec. 20, 2023)
“Florida Counts Votes Quickly, Other States Should Too” (Dec. 27, 2023)

I’ve included discussions of former President Trump’s legal entanglements when they bear closely on questions of election law, as with the federal and Georgia Jan. 6 prosecutions and the matter of his eligibility for office under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, but not otherwise.