The campaigns of both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, as well as both national parties, are deploying thousands of lawyers to battleground States to oversee recounts and challenge results in what may be the closest election ever. Both camps know that with the Presidency and the House and Senate up for grabs, some races, including the Presidency, can come down to a small amount of votes.
Publicly, both parties say they are focused on an outright win. Yet, lawyers and volunteers are set up in Colorado, West Virginia, Nevada, Washington, and California to monitor the elections and to watch out for irregularities.
Twice in recent memory, Al Franken’s Senate win and George W. Bush’s win had to go to the courts to resolve their disputed ballots and declare a winner.
One Republican strategist told Roll Call:
“There’s a feeling that the Democrats were more prepared in 2008 for the Minnesota situation. The most critical time is the first hours, not the first days and weeks.”
The Democratic Campaign Committee is working with local campaigns to have contingency plans in place for contested elections.
DCCC spokesman Ryan Rudominer said:
“All the field work we are doing is the best preparation for a recount. If there is a recount, there is a plan to immediately redirect the well over 700 field staff to voter protection activities. That said, we plan to win on election night.”
One attorney familiar with the Democrats’ strategy said there are plans in place to immediately have lawyers contest the vote in Arizona, Texas, Maryland, Michigan, and Virginia.
NRCC spokesman Paul Lindsay said the GOP is prepared to fight and that not all races may be decided on Election Day.
“The problem with recounts, frankly, is you can never tell where they’re going to be. And where you think they’re going to be, they’re not. It’s always a last-minute scramble.”