The lawyers who have been tapped by each campaign will investigate and help them navigate any legal challenges that come after what will likely be a close election, reports Reuters.
They could challenge any voting procedures and results in a contest that will likely remind voters of the 200 election, which was ultimately settled by the US Supreme Court.
Benjamin Ginsberg, a chief legal counsel for George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004, will be Romney’s lead lawyer. The Obama campaign has tapped Robert Bauer, a former White House counsel who has been outspoken against Republican-led efforts to alter voting laws in Ohio and other states.
Both lawyers have already been quietly at work during the election season, negotiating the terms for the three presidential debates, as well as the debate between the vice president and his challenger.
USA Today notes that legal teams like this are a standard, largely because of the 2000 disputed recount in Florida. While the election will likely be decided either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, the closeness of the race means the possibility that there will be less conclusive, more confusing scenarios.
For example, a disputed result in a state (like Florida in 2000) or problems with ballots or vote counting could cause the lawyers to become involved.
For now, the majority of work that Bauer has done in the election is battling Republican-led legislatures, who have sought to restrict voting laws. The campaign sued Ohio in July over a law to end voting early the weekend before the election.
Democrats contended that the law would exclude many working-class voters who take advantage of early voting. People like this tend to vote for Democrats. They have since accused Republicans of trying to suppress the vote through stricter election laws.
While it is not likely that the 2012 Election will be a repeat of 2000’s battle, the Obama and Romney legal teams will be ready.