The TV networks are lawyering up as Election Day draws near. Experts in election law are suddenly an extremely hot commodity, as the television networks prepare to deal with legal challenges and irregularities that may arise on Tuesday, or in the days soon after.
ABC, NBC and CBS are all making arrangements with election-law experts, as it’s almost inevitable that some issues will arise. Ben Ginsberg, the veteran attorney who represented George W. Bush when the 2000 presidential race was decided in the Supreme Court, has joined CNN. Ginsberg would add a unique perspective if this election ends up going down a similar path as Bush and Gore.
CBS News hired David Becker, founder of the Center for Election Innovation & Research. Becker said he feels as though his role and the network’s role is to educate the public about voting issues. He also acknowledged that bolstering the public’s trust and confidence in the election system is part of his job, and that election officials across the country want people to feel they can trust the system. “By and large, these are people that want as many people to vote with confidence and security as possible.”
One thing all the election-law experts tend to agree on is that the spread of disinformation can cause a lot of harm, and Becker agrees. “No matter what happens, a portion of the public will not believe in the result. Part of our job is to make sure that this portion of the population is as small as possible.”
Court decisions and challenges to voting rules in Wisconsin, North Carolina and Pennsylvania have already taken place and offer a glimpse of what may be on tap and why expertise will most likely be needed.