Election Reformers Network has launched an intensive evaluation into the issue of conflicts of interest for state chief election officers. The project will assess the extent to which chief election officers competing for public office or publicly supporting a competing candidate or party threaten voter confidence in the election process. If the assessment concludes that changes are warranted, the project will make recommendations for chief election official conduct and prepare model legislation to address potential conflicts of interset, for promotion by advocacy groups and state legislators.
The law firm of Ropes & Gray has committed to providing significant legal research resource this summer in support of the project, pro bono. The Ropes & Gray team will conduct a state-by-state assessment of existing conflict of interest statutes, regulations, and case law that could apply to the key areas of potential conflict for chief election officers, and related issues such as personal nonpartisanship pledges taken by secretaries of state.
ERN is also being advised in the project by leading election scholar Dan Tokaji and by former secretaries of state.