Election Law Research Guide

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Election law is governed mainly by statutes and regulations, and the case law which interprets them. It falls between the juncture of constitutional law and political science. Applicable Constitutional Amendments are: Right to vote regardless of race- 15th Amendment,; Voter Qualifications – 19th and 26th Amendment; Poll tax - 24th Amendment and the First Amendment (especially Freedom of Speech).   Issues addressed in election law include: who is entitled to vote in an election, who is entitled to hold office, and the financing of elections. Related guides: Constitutional Law, First Amendment and Civil Rights.

For hints on paper topic selection, see the Scholarly Writing Guide and see the Journals/Current Awareness section of this guide.

Books Cases Web Sites
General Legal Sources Administrative Decisions Journals/Current Awareness
Statutes/Constitutions Regulations Interdisciplinary Databases


Here are some of the more recent books on election law in the library's collection. (A few of these titles may be at the University library, as indicated). For more titles, check the library catalog, Scholar, or browse the shelves on the Atrium level around call numbers KF4886-4770 and on the Base level around call number JD-JK1924. For international, check around call number K3293, Base level.

General Supreme Court Prosecution Reform Campaign Finance Voting Rights Act International


America Votes! : A Guide to Modern Election Law and Voting Rights / edited by Benjamin Griffith  KF4886 .A86 2012 also on Westlaw

Campaign rules : A 50-State Guide to Campaigns and Elections in America / Nina Kasniunas and Daniel M. Shea KF4886 .K37 2010

The Election Law Primer for Corporations / Jan Witold Baran KF4886 .B37 2008

Law and Election Politics : The Rules of the Game / edited by Matthew J. Streb  KF4886 .L39 2013

Lobbying, PACs, and Campaign Finance: 50 State Handbook / edited by Edward E. Poliakoff and Jocelyn Y. Dyer, 2010. Westlaw ( LOBBYPCF)

Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections / John L. Moore, Jon P. Preimesberger, David R. Tarr 2001 – general reference book, including election results, statistics and historical information. JK1967 .C662 1994   (Law library -3rd ed.) JK1967 .C662 2001 (University library - 4th ed.)

U.S. Supreme Court

The Constitution of Electoral Speech Law : The Supreme Court and Freedom of Expression in Campaigns and Elections / Brian K. Pinaire KF4770 .P56 2008

The Supreme Court and Election Law : Judging Equality from Baker v. Carr to Bush v. Gore / Richard L. Hasen 2003 KF4886 .H37 2003

The U.S. Supreme Court and the Electoral Process / David K. Ryden, editor KF4886.A5 U17 2002

Criminal Offenses

Federal Prosecution of Election Offenses [electronic resource] / Craig C. Donsanto and Nancy L. Simmons  J 1.2:EL 2/4/2007/REV


Election Reform : Politics and Policy / edited by Daniel J. Palazzolo and James W. Ceaser JK1976 .E375 2005

Campaign and Election Reform : A Reference Handbook (Electronic Book) - Glenn H. Utter and Ruth Ann Strickland. JK1976 .U88 2008

The Hidden Costs of Clean Election Reform / Frederic Charles Schaffer JF1083 .S34 2008

Campaign Finance

The FEC and the Federal Campaign Finance Law - Federal Election Commission. Electronic and in print, JK1991 .F423 2008

Money, Power & Elections : How Campaign Finance Reform Subverts American Democracy / Rodney A. Smith, JK1991 .S58 2006

The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform / John Samples JK1991 .S26 2006

Money and Free Speech : Campaign Finance Reform and the Courts / Melvin I. Urofsky KF4920 .U76 2005  (University library)

Voting Rights Act

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 - Historical Background and Current Issues / Garrine P. Laney KF4891 .L36 2003

The Future of the Voting Rights Act / David L. Epstein JK1924 .F88 2006

The Voting Rights Act : Securing the Ballot / Richard M. Valelly, editor JK1924 .V68 2006


Establishing the Rules of the Game : Election Laws in Democracies / Louis Massicotte, André Blais, Antoine Yoshinaka K3293 .M38 2004  

International Election Principles : Democracy & the Rule of Law / John Hardin Young, editor K3293 .I58 2009

International Electoral Standards : Guidelines for Reviewing the Legal Framework of Elections, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance K3293 .I58 2002

General Legal Sources:

Some of the general legal sources where you will find information on election law include:

American Jurisprudence 2d: (AmJur2d), Vol. 24 and 25 –Elections – A good overview of relevant federal statutes and Constitutional provisions.  On Westlaw , Lexis and in print KF164 .A422

Federal Procedure, Lawyers Ed: Chapter 28, Elections and Elective Franchise- –Includes election litigation, voting rights proceedings, and campaign finance proceedings. On Westlaw and in print.    KF8835 .F43

Civil Rights Actions: Lexis and in print, Chapter 18. KF4749 .C65

West’s Federal Administrative Practice, Chapter 148 on Voting Rights. Westlaw -  WEST-FDADM

Statutes & Constitutional Provisions


For a list see Cornell's Legal Information Institute - Elections


Ohio Revised Code - Title 35

All States

Westlaw - Election - State Statutes

Legal Information Institute - State Statutes by Topic - Elections


Case Law and Court Filings

Go to Westlaw>Directory>Topical Materials by Practice Area>Election Law to access:

Election - Cases

Election Briefs

Election Civil Trial Filings

On Lexis there is no specialized database for searching election law cases and court filings, so just use the regular case law, briefs and court filings databases.



Code of Federal Regulations: Title 11 - Federal Elections

Ohio Administrative Code:

Administrative Agency Opinions and Guidance


Federal Election Commission Advisory Opinions - (Opinions by the Federal Election Commission, which administers and enforces the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). ) On their webpage, back to 1975.

Westlaw - Federal Election Commission Advisory Opinions (FEC), 1987-

Lexis - 1991-2003

Federal Election Commission Guidance


Ohio Elections Commission Advisory Opinions - on the Ohio Election Commission's webpage. also on Lexis - OHELEC , 1986-current

Journals and Current Awareness

Money & Politics Report (BNA) - current awareness - 1998-current

Search the Westlaw database: Election Texts, Analytical Materials, Journals & Law Reviews Combined

A few specific titles include:

Election Law Journal - Westlaw

Electoral Studies - Full text available from OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center: 1995 to present

Also see Finding Articles in Law Reviews & Journals

U.S. Law Week/Supreme Court Today (BNA) - Find out about important recent cases in election law by clicking on Recent Topics (near the top, in the grey bar) and selection Elections. Find recent U.S. Supreme Court cases dealing with elections by clicking on Supreme Court Today, Topical - Cases Decided, click Collapse All at the bottom and then pick Elections.

General News Sources:

Westlaw Election News

Also search general news sources on LexisNexis. For older news articles, try America's Historical Newspapers or ask a librarian.


Election Law
Election Law @ Moritz
Equal Vote (also from OSU Moritz Law School)
Votelaw, Edward Still's blog on law and politics
Election Updates
State of Elections.com written by law students at William & Mary



Web Resources


Federal Election Commission (FEC)- duties of the FEC are to disclose campaign finance information, enforce provisions of the law, and oversee public funding of Presidential elections.  Especially see the Campaign Funding Disclosure Portal, and PACRONYMS - list of PACs.

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration: Electoral College- keeps records created by the United State Federal Government created in the ordinary course of business.

U.S. Dept. of Justice - Civil Rights Division, Voting Section. 

Election Law Guide - from the Library of Congress. Covers U.S., Foreign Countries and International.


National Resource and Advocacy Organizations

Brennan Center for Justicefocuses on fundamental issues of democracy and justice.

ElectionLine - From University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs provides up-to-the-minute news and analysis on election reform.

Voters Unitewebsite dedicated to the downside of computerized voting.

Voter Actionnational non-profit dedicated to ensuring election integrity in the United States.

Verified Votingsite comprised of both a lobbying and non-profit organization.

Advancement ProjectAdvances universal opportunity and a just democracy for those left behind in America.

Common Causefounded in 1970 by John Gardner. Website is a way to make citizens part of the political process and hold elected officials accountable.

ACLUACLU works to preserve individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.

Election Law @ Moritz - RSS feeds for news and analysis. Daily-updated chart of major pending cases. e-Book on Election Law. e-Book on Election Law.


Ohio and the Fifty States

Ohio SOS Elections Page

Ohio Elections Commission

National Center for State Courts - Election Law Resource Guide.  Also see NCSC's Voter ID - State Requirements for voter id legislation and litigation.

National Association of Secretaries of State - Elections & Voting - links to state election offices, election officials directory.



National Election Studies (NES)

Federal Election Campaign Reports


Campaign Finance Information

Campaign Summary Reports - on Lexis

Westlaw - Political Donor Information


Interdisciplinary Databases

International Political Science Abstracts


Social Sciences Full Text

SocINDEX with Full Text

Academic Search Complete

OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center


SA/TH 8/27/2010, Revised 9/17/2012, SA