Both campaigns dispatch lawyers to monitor polling places

Thousands of lawyers will be on the lookout for any signs of Election Day polling shenanigans

By Jillian Rayfield
November 2, 2012 11:00PM (UTC)
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( Lisa S. via Shutterstock)

On Tuesday, lawyers from both presidential campaigns will flock to polling places across the battleground states to keep close watch for potential legal violations, making it increasingly likely that there will be a number of court battles over contested votes, regardless of how the election plays out.

The New York Times reports:


"The lawyers will note how poll workers behave, where voters are directed, if intimidation appears to be occurring, whether lines are long. And they will report up a chain of command where decisions over court action will be made at headquarters in Chicago and Boston."

This will be mostly concentrated in Ohio, particularly the Greater Cleveland area, according to the Times, which reports that Democrats have dispatched 600 lawyers to Cuyahoga County alone, with 2,500 across the state. Republicans have 70 in the same county.

“If it’s close, you will see both sides running to court,” Jeff Hastings, the Republican chair of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, told the Times.

“How tough would it be for them to send people to the wrong precincts and tie up poll workers to slow things down?” said Stuart Garson, the Democratic Party chairman in Cuyahoga County. “If we see someone getting in someone’s face, our lawyers will be there.”

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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2012 Elections Barack Obama Election Day Voting Mitt Romney Voter Fraud