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The Separation of Electoral Powers

Edward B. Foley

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

January 30, 2013

Montana Law Review, Forthcoming
Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 188

This essay argues that the political theory of republicanism needs to be updated to take account of the distinct role that election law plays in the establishing of the government that makes and enforces the rest of the laws for society. Updating republicanism in this way requires adding a new dimension to the separation of powers, a traditionally republican idea. The new dimension is to separate the electoral powers of government from the three traditional powers: legislative, executive, and judicial. In addition, the electoral powers should be subdivided into three distinct institutions in the same way that the regular powers of government are. The essay describes the three new electoral institutions that would be created in accordance with this updating of republican theory. The essay also considers the distinctive institutional innovations that have occurred, since the development of traditional republican theory, with the rise of administrative law. Accordingly, this essay also sketches a fourth electoral institution to play an intermediary administrative role between the legislation and execution of election laws.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 27

Keywords: republican, democracy, voting, election

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Date posted: January 31, 2013 ; Last revised: March 13, 2013

Suggested Citation

Foley, Edward B., The Separation of Electoral Powers (January 30, 2013). Montana Law Review, Forthcoming; Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 188. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2209077 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2209077

Contact Information

Edward B. Foley (Contact Author)
Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law ( email )
55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States
614-292-4288 (Phone)
614-292-2035 (Fax)

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