Campaign 2020

Announcing ‘The Laws and Norms of a Disputed Presidential Election,’ a New Lawfare E-book

By David Priess, Tia Sewell
Friday, October 23, 2020, 8:39 PM

A new Lawfare Institute e-book, "The Laws and Norms of a Disputed Presidential Election,” is now available on Kindle.

What legal and normative issues surround disputed presidential elections in the United States? How are ballot collection and poll observation handled in key states? Have previous candidates refused to accept the results of contentious presidential elections? What state and federal laws and rules play a role in resolving a contested presidential election?

Featuring chapters originally published as articles on Lawfare, this e-book pulls together in one place our contributors’ expert analysis on the current American institutional structures that presumably will prevent post-election chaos.

The e-book allows full-text searching across the articles and is available here.


  • Chapter One: “Ballot Collection Laws and Litigation,” Alexandra Popke, Haley Schwab and Christopher Wan
  • Chapter Two: “Election Observation: Rules and Laws,” Jacob McCall, Mathew Simkovits and Haley Schwab
  • Chapter Three: “The Powerful Norm of Accepting the Results of a Presidential Election,” David Priess
  • Chapter Four: “Avoiding Post-Election Chaos: Wilson vs. Hughes, 1916,” Matthew Waxman
  • Chapter Five: “The State Laws That May Decide a Disputed 2020 Election,” Richard Altieri, Scott R. Anderson, Todd Carney, Eric Halliday, Christie Mayberry and Nathaniel Sobel
  • Chapter Six: “How to Resolve a Contested Election, Part 1: The States and Their Electors,” Scott R. Anderson
  • Chapter Seven: “How to Resolve a Contested Election, Part 2: How Congress Counts the Electoral Votes,” Scott R. Anderson
  • Chapter Eight: “How to Resolve a Contested Election, Part 3: When Elections Fail,” Scott R. Anderson