Published October 14, 2014
Two innovative public service endeavors have newly invigorated the Law School’s Jaeckle Center for Law, Democracy and Governance. The first is a new blog covering New York State election and voting rights issues; the second is the creation of a non-partisan voting rights project.
According to SUNY Distinguished Professor James A. Gardner, director of the Jaeckle Center, New York Elections News: Legislation, Elections and Litigation Covering the Empire State is a nonpartisan, non-advocacy blog reporting election news with coverage focusing on all aspects of election law. These include:
Activity in Albany, from the governor, state Legislature, state Board of Elections, court houses across the state and from New York’s counties and local governments will be reported on the blog, according to Gardner.
“New York State has one of the nation’s most complicated sets of election laws,” he says. “New York Election News’ goal is to present readers with an unbiased and impartial accounting of what goes on across the state.
“From challenges to petitioning at the grassroots level, to decisions from the state Court of Appeals at the state level, the blog aims to provide New Yorkers with a public service that will inform them about elections — the bedrock of our democracy – to complicated issues argued before the state’s highest courts,” Gardner says.
New York Election Law News is a project of the Jaeckle Center’s other recent undertaking, the New York State Democracy Clearinghouse. Initiated by Associate Professor Michael Halberstam and Jaeckle Fellow Jeffrey M. Wice, the Democracy Clearinghouse is an innovative and non-partisan voting rights project being developed to serve as a resource for redistricting and election related information in New York.
A website currently being developed at the Jaeckle Center will collect and post county, city and township redistricting maps, materials and election data histories post-2010.
The blog will be edited by Jeffrey M. Wice, a Jaeckle Center Fellow, who is a veteran national and New York redistricting and election law expert. He served as a redistricting counsel to the New York State Senate and Assembly, New York City and numerous local governments across New York State and the nation. Currently of counsel to Sandler, Reiff, Lamb, Rosenstein & Birkenstock, PC, a leading election law firm based in Washington, D.C., Wice has over 35 years of experience working in redistricting, voting rights and census law across the United States.
Michael Halberstam, an associate professor of law and associate director of the Jaeckle Center, also will contribute to the blog. He holds a Ph.D. from Yale University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School, and has held visiting positions at Columbia, Emory and Wesleyan University. Halberstam’s academic expertise is in election law and governance.