Legal System, Election Process Often Linked

Knoxville — As legal arguments continue in Florida in the presidential vote recount, a University of Tennessee law professor says it should not come as a surprise that the issue has wound up in the courts.

“This happens regularly, all over the country, after every election,” said Neil Cohen. “What is unusual is the conglomeration of facts that makes this particular election so important for Florida and the entire nation.”

The Democratic and Republican national committees have filed several lawsuits in Florida state and federal courts, related to the recount of ballots in the presidential election.

Cohen said there may be a coming conflict between advocates of federal jurisdiction and those advocating states’ rights.

“Historically, elections have been local matters, with very little federal law involved,” Cohen said, even in the federal presidential election. “But I see the possibility of increased federal standards for elections, though I don’t think it’s necessary.”