Jeffrey Zaino is the vice president of elections for the American Arbitration Association. He oversees the Association’s Department of Elections in New York, which conducts elections across the nation for unions, associations, colleges and corporations. Mr. Zaino is a member of the bar in Connecticut and the District of Columbia. Jeanne Zaino, Ph.D., is assistant professor and chair of the political science department at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. She previously worked at the Roper Center. She is the co-author of Adventures in Social Research.
In 2000 the world watched as then-Governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore challenged the results of the presidential election all the way to the Supreme Court. The High Court issued two opinions on the election and courts at the state and federal levels all weighed in with numerous rulings.
The second Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore brought the 2000 election to an end. But it did little to quell concern that this type of litigation might become the norm. Legal experts began asking whether Bush v. Gore was a sign of what was to come. Would electoral challenges become standard practice in the United States? Would elections be decided in the courts rather than at the ballot box?
These concerns prompted Wall Street Journal reporter John Fund to ask whether there would be a “Floridification” of the voting process—i.e., the creation of an environment in which elections are increasingly resolved in the courts.
As the 2008 presidential election looms in front of us, it seems an appropriate time to consider the validity of these concerns and their consequences, if any.