Footnotes (158)



Election Law and Civil Discourse: The Promise of ADR

Joshua A. Douglas

University of Kentucky - College of Law

June 23, 2011

27 OHIO ST. J. ON DISP. RESOL. 291 (2012)

This Essay, stemming from a Symposium put on by the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution on election law and alternative dispute resolution, contrasts negative language in election law court decisions with ADR's collaborative and cooperative approach. I first demonstrate how election law court decisions often include highly caustic language, which, when repeated in the media, can contribute to our overall negative public discourse. I then explain how systems of alternative dispute resolution start with a foundation of cooperation and are less adversarial than traditional litigation. Finally, I combine these concepts to discuss how, by using the collaborative spirit underlying ADR, we can resolve election law challenges in a less adversarial manner and thereby improve our civil discourse. My goal is not to advocate for the use of ADR in all election law cases. Instead, I hope to issue a “call to arms” for election litigants to think about how they can resolve their disputes with greater civility. This, in turn, will produce fewer court opinions with negative language and less opportunity for the media to exploit election controversies. The upshot will be an improvement in our public discourse surrounding elections.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 30

Keywords: election, voting, election disputes, political discourse, civic discourse, ADR

Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: June 26, 2011 ; Last revised: May 22, 2012

Suggested Citation

Douglas, Joshua A., Election Law and Civil Discourse: The Promise of ADR (June 23, 2011). 27 OHIO ST. J. ON DISP. RESOL. 291 (2012) . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1871280

Contact Information

Joshua A. Douglas (Contact Author)
University of Kentucky - College of Law ( email )
620 S. Limestone Street
Lexington, KY 40506-0048
United States
Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 650
Downloads: 97
Download Rank: 216,250
Footnotes:  158