The Yale Law Journal


Election Reform

18 Nov 2019
Election Law

As the first bill introduced in the current Congress, H.R. 1 seeks to revamp our democracy through sweeping electoral reforms. This Collection critiques small-donor-based public financing, argues for legislation mandating Election Day registration, and defends H.R. 1’s constitutionality based on Congress’s broad authority to regulate federal elections.


Small-Donor-Based Campaign-Finance Reform and Political Polarization

Richard H. Pildes

Small-donor campaign-finance reform is supported by participatory, egalitarian, and anti-corruption values. But while reform advocates focus on these values, they ignore the evidence that such reforms might further fuel the ideological extremes in American politics. Small-donor campaign-finance refo…


The Elections Clause and the Underenforcement of Federal Law

Franita Tolson

Drawing on nineteenth-century federal voting-rights legislation, this Essay argues that challenges to federal authority over elections persist for two reasons. First, the Supreme Court has not fully delineated federal power under the Elections Clause. Second, Congress has never exercised its Electio…


Election Day Registration and the Limits of Litigation

Dale E. Ho

This Essay examines Election Day registration (EDR)—the single reform that would do the most to improve U.S. voter turnout. While legislative reform efforts over the last decade have doubled the number of EDR states, litigation challenging registration deadlines has not yet succeeded, making federal…