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The Headnotes Compendium: Election Law in the Ramp-Up to 2020

Minnesota Law Review Headnotes is proud to publish its first annual Compendium. Each Headnotes Compendium will focus on a different area of law and feature essays highlighting the latest legal developments in the field.

The inaugural Compendium focuses on recent changes in election law and voting rights, as the country prepares itself for the 2020 presidential election. Election law is a rapidly evolving field in many respects, whether campaign finance regulation, social media’s effect on political advertising, or the maintenance and expansion of voting rights in our elections.

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Election Law in the Ramp Up to 2020

Campaign Finance Issues in Election Communications: An Explanation of the Current Legal Standard and Modern Trends

by Tammera R. Diehm, Katherine A. Johnson, & Jordan E. Mogensen

“The increasing prominence of Facebook and other social media space as the new frontier in election communication and advertising has inspired a renewed discussion of campaign finance regulations in the American electoral process. Supreme Court jurisprudence in the realm of election-related regulation has often highlighted the U.S. government’s special, heightened interest in structuring and protecting the integrity of the ‘electoral process.’ Defining the bounds of what constitutes the electoral process has important legal implications in discerning the reach of laws designed to protect it.”

Political Advertising, Digital Platforms, and the Democratic Deficiencies of Self-Regulation

by Robert Yablon

“Platform companies have been attending to political advertising in advance of the 2020 election due in large part to events that unfolded during the 2016 election. High-profile scandals involving foreign interference, fake news, and more, put platforms under a harsh spotlight. Once lauded as boons to democracy, platform technologies (including but not limited to digital ad tools) were exploited in ways that threatened the integrity of the very democratic discourse they helped to facilitate. And platform companies turned out to be ill-prepared to address the unintended side effects of their creations.”

Voting Rights and the 2020 Election: A New Judicial Federalism for the Right to Vote

by David Schultz

“Simply put, the U.S national government, across all of the three branches, no longer seems to be involved in protecting voting rights and is complicit in what is the second great disenfranchisement in American history . . . If the federal government has turned its back on the protection of voting rights despite a continued threat to disenfranchise, it is time for states yet again to become a leader in this area.”