Election Night

Election Nights represent both endings and beginnings. They offer anticipation and angst, relief and despair, and disappointment and victory. I remember fighting to keep my eyes open as an eighth-grader, waiting for the late-night results of the presidential election in 2008. I also remember copy-editing articles in my college paper’s newsroom in 2016 wide-awake, with one eye on AP style and another on the New York Times’ results tracker. 

As my time at IFES comes to an end, I am wrapping up my long-term projects –– the assignments from my “primaries” and “campaign trail” –– as well as receiving new work. As I approach the end of my summer’s “election season,” I was excited to dive into a project related to Libya’s judicial system and election decisions.

As previously mentioned, IFES manages a curated database on judicial decisions at ElectionJudgments.org. In collecting over 170 cases, the website creates a compendium of cases for judges, election managers, and other experts to review the kind of electoral decisions coming out of national courts around the world. As the interns continued to write social media content to promote the database, I began working on a different compendium of cases.

In preparation for a training for Libyan judges and judicial staff, I received English translations of the country’s court decisions about elections. After a 1L year spent briefing cases, I put these skills to good use and composed a compilation of Libyan election case summaries. Ranging from allegations of voter fraud to candidate ineligibility, the cases provided a perspective on the country’s election challenges as well as its existing law on this topic. 

As my time at IFES comes to a close, I am thrilled that my work ended up addressing election law matters in Latin America, Africa, and Europe. The scope of IFES's work is truly admirable, and while it may be "Election Night" for my summer, I hope to finish strong in my last week of work.