Election Law

Consistent with its strong commitment to open government and fair elections, the Firm has established a national reputation in litigation concerning access to the ballot and voting rights. We have represented Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Conservatives and others as they have striven for fair and open election procedures and to uphold the right to vote.

Prior to forming the Firm, founding partner Richard Emery successfully challenged the structure of the New York City Board of Estimate under the one-person, one-vote doctrine, resulting in the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous invalidation of the Board on constitutional grounds.

For the latest news on ECBA’s election law work, click here.

Representative Cases:

  • 2016 Presidential Election Recount and Election Integrity – ECBA was lead counsel on behalf of presidential candidate Jill Stein and voters in the 2016 election recounts in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. In Pennsylvania, the firm is advocating for paper ballots for all voters, and reform of the Election Code to ensure automatic audits of the vote, to ensure that each vote is properly and accurately counted in future elections. In Wisconsin, the firm is seeking access to the election software used to record and tally the votes.
  • Brennan Center et. al. v. New York Board of Elections – Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady and the Brennan Center for Justice, on behalf of several former and current State legislators and other plaintiffs, filed suit against the New York State Board of Elections to close the State’s infamous “LLC Loophole.” Since the Loophole was created by the BOE in 1996, contributors donating through LLCs have circumvented contribution limits and disclosure requirements that the Legislature created to protect the integrity of New York’s democratic process — and injected millions of secret dollars into state elections.
  • NAACP v. Cortez – Together with the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and Voter Action, the Firm obtained a landmark injunction on the eve of the 2008 Presidential election requiring Pennsylvania to make emergency paper ballots available when half or more of a precinct’s voting machines fail.
  • Malcolm A. Smith v. Pedro Espada Jr. – The Firm represented New York Senator Malcolm A. Smith in a case challenging Senator Pedro Espada Jr.’s claimed election to the position of Temporary President of the Senate.
  • New York State Conservative Party et al. v. James A. Walsh et al. – The Firm represents the New York State Conservative Party in a case challenging how New York counts so-called “double votes,” which occur when a person votes for a candidate on more than one party line. State law presently requires that double votes be counted only for the major party (almost invariably the Republicans or the Democrats) and not for the minor party.
  • Green Party v. State of New Jersey – Together with the New Jersey Appleseed Public Interest Law Center, the Firm successfully represented a coalition of alternative political parties challenging New Jersey’s discriminatory campaign finance scheme, which subjected alternative parties to more stringent contribution and expenditure limits than the Democrats or Republicans.
  • Rodriguez v. Pataki – The Firm represented a coalition of voters challenging the 2002 reapportionment of New York State Senate districts, alleging that the redistricting plan violated the “one person, one vote” requirement of the Constitution, as well as the Voting Rights Act.
  • Jacobs v. Seminole County Canvassing Board – The Firm mounted a challenge to unlawfully altered absentee ballots in Florida during the 2000 Presidential election recount.
  • Rockefeller and Molinari v. Powers – Together with the Brennan Center, the Firm represented insurgent Republican presidential candidates Steve Forbes and John McCain in successful challenges to New York’s ballot access requirements.
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