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Moritz College of Law

Law Library

Research Guide: Election Law

This guide is designed to assist the faculty and students of the Moritz College of Law in researching issues in the area of election law.

Case Law

Cases on U.S. election law can be found at both the state and federal level. As with any case law research, be mindful of the appropriate jurisdiction.

Cases can be found in any number of places - Thomson Reuters Westlaw and Lexis Advance, of course, but also Bloomberg Law, Google Scholar, and any number of government and court websites. To locate those cases that are particular relevant to your research project, consider using the following tools:

Browsing Topics

Using terms and connectors or natural language searching can both be effective ways of finding cases, but Westlaw, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg Law all use their own systems of headnotes and topics to classify cases by subject. These topic systems or outlines can be browsed to find all the cases dealing with that particular subject. The different topic systems vary in their level of detail, but all will allow you the option to further filter and sort the cases under a particular topic.

West Key Number System

Elections (142T) is the topic heading that you would want to start with, although relevant cases may be found under other topics as well.

Lexis Advance Browse Topics

On the home page, you can use the Browse dropdown menu at the top to drill down from broader to narrower Topics. Under Constitutional Law, you will find Elections, Terms & Voting. Other topics may also be worth exploring for relevant cases.

Bloomberg Law Browse Topics

On the Search Court Opinions screen, below the Select Topic bar, you can use the Browse Full List dropdown menu to see the topics. Clicking on a topic will add it to your search. Election & Politics would be a good topic to start with, but there may be relevant cases under other topics as well.



Official Codes

Several areas of election law are governed by statutes at the federal or state level. Official versions of these statutes can be accessed using the following:

Annotated Codes

Annotated codes contain the actual text of the statutes as well as supplemental content created and compiled by the publisher. This content includes Notes of Decision (Westlaw) and Citing Decisions (Lexis), cross-references, research references, and even some legislative history materials. 


Some aspects of election law are governed by federal or state regulations. You can find and access regulations using the following:

Selected Statutes and Regulations

The following federal statutes and regulations and state statutes govern several areas of election law.

Federal Statutes

Title 52 of the United States Code contains statutes concerning voting and elections. This Title contains the following federal Acts:

  • The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. §§ 10101 et seq.)
  • Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act (52 U.S.C. §§ 20101 et seq.)
  • Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. §§ 20301 et seq.)
  • National Voter Registration Act of 1993 ( 52 U.S.C. §§ 20501 et seq.)
  • Title III of the Civil Rights Act of 1960 (52 U.S.C. §§ 20701 et seq.)
  • Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. §§ 20901 et seq.)
  • Titles III and IV of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. §§ 30101 et seq.)
Federal Regulations

Federal regulations implementing the Voting Rights Act of 1965 can be found in the following Parts of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations: 

  • Part 51: Procedures for the Administration of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, As Amended
  • Part 55: Implementation of Provisions of the Voting Rights Act Regarding Language Minority Groups
Ohio Statutes

Title XXXV of the Ohio Revised Code contains statutes on election administration, voting requirements, and campaign finance. This Title includes the following Chapters, among others:

  • Chapter 3501: Election Procedure; Election Officials
  • Chapter 3503: Voting - Qualifications; Registration
  • Chapter 3514: Primaries; Nominations
  • Chapter 3515: Recount; Contest of Elections
  • Chapter 3517: Campaigns; Political Parties
  • Chapter 3519: Initiative; Referendum
  • Chapter 3599: Offenses and Penalties

Using Secondary Sources to Find Primary Sources

Secondary sources of law are useful for a variety of reasons, not least of which is providing citations to relevant primary sources. For example, many of the sources on the Books and Journals page of this guide can help you find cases.