Election Obstruction

71 UCLA Law Review Discourse, Forthcoming

13 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2023

See all articles by Jason Marisam

Jason Marisam

Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Date Written: March 22, 2023


In 2020 and 2022, multiple Republican county canvassers refused to perform their ministerial duty to approve election returns, obstructing the official certification of the results. The canvassers latched onto false claims of fraud and other conspiracies advanced by election deniers. They eventually relented, because of court orders and public pressure. The elections produced official winners, and crisis was averted. But, as long as election denialism rots our political discourse, election obstruction by canvassers will be a persistent risk with significant dangers for our democracy. This Essay provides a brief history of election obstruction by canvassers, examines the modern link between election denialism and election obstruction, and proposes two solutions to minimize the risk of election obstruction – diversifying canvassing institutions and bypassing county canvassers for national and statewide races.

Keywords: election institutions, election law, voting

JEL Classification: K16

Suggested Citation

Marisam, Jason, Election Obstruction (March 22, 2023). 71 UCLA Law Review Discourse, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4396626 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4396626

Jason Marisam (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

875 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105-3076
United States

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