The Man At the Center of the Red Hot Battle Over Voting Rights: Marc Elias

Marc Elias is leading 32 current lawsuits in 16 states to try to push for more expansive voting rights, and since the coronavirus, his workload has gone way up.


We go deep on the debate over vote-by-mail, and ballot collection, aka ballot harvesting.


Elias is chair of the Political Law practice at Perkins Coie. He was the top lawyer on Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign and has years of experience in election recounts, which led him to focus on voting rights and redistricting over the last few years.


"What I realized is that there was a large number at the end of every election of ballots that wind up going uncounted. So I wound up getting involved in voting rights litigation mostly through the prism of how do we look at the pool of people whose ballots get rejected and get wrongly rejected," he said. "At the end of 2016 I realized that though there are a lot of reasons you can point to that Secretary Clinton lost those close elections, some of them had to do with how the rules of elections were held. One thing I always point out to people is, no matter what election rules you use, there are going to be winners and losers … There are going to be some populations that are more advantaged than disadvantaged, so I wanted to spend time for 2020 trying to make the rules fairer for everybody."


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Outro music: "Ladies" by Fiona Apple

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