Creation of a New Federal Code Title, Title 52 Voting and Elections

September 22, 2014

VoteA new subject matter title, Title 52 Voting and Elections, is born and resides in the United States Code Annotated.  The new title, with editorial annotations and notes of decisions, was released to Westlaw on September 3, 2014, and will be included in print in the United States Code Annotated Pamphlet No. 2, which supplements the 2014 United States Code Annotated pocket parts.

The decision to transfer provisions in the Code into a new title was made by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel, located in Washington D.C. The Office of the Law Revision Counsel is an independent, nonpartisan office in the U.S. House of Representatives, and is responsible for maintaining and publishing the United States Code, which is the government publication of federal statutory law. In the past, the Office of the Law Revision Counsel has created new chapters in existing titles, Titles 2 and 50;  this is the first instance of a new subject matter title.

After thorough and careful analysis, the Office of the Law Revision Counsel determined that a separate title will create a well organized, coherent structure for this body of law and will improve the overall organization of the Code.  As explained by the Law Revision Counsel on their website:  The United States Code contains the general and permanent laws of the United States organized into broad subject matter titles.  When the organizational structure of the Code was initially formulated, no separate title for voting and elections was created.  Since then, a large amount of federal statutory law relating to voting and elections has been enacted and classified within Titles 2 and 42.  As this body of law has grown, it has become necessary to create a well organized separate title for this important area of law. Thus, provisions relating to voting and elections are transferred from Titles 2 and 42 into a new Title 52.  No substantive content is altered by this addition.  The provisions are only being relocated from one place to another with new Title 52 citations.

The Westlaw United States Code Annotated team was notified by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the Title 52 addition several weeks in advance of their release on the United States Code government website.  This enabled our team to transfer code text, credit provisions, and all of our editorial features including editorial notes and Notes of Decisions to a new Title 52 contained in the United States Code Annotated.   The outline below lists what is contained within new Title 52 and identifies the new citation numbering scheme.  The new Code citations should be used.

New Title 52 Structure (Currently on Westlaw Classic and WestlawNext):

Title 52, Voting and Elections

  • Subtitle I.  Voting Rights
  • Chapter 101.  Generally (52 U.S.C.A.  § 10101,  52 U.S.C.A. § 10102)
  • Chapter 103.  Enforcement of Voting Rights (52 U.S.C.A.  §§ 10301 to 10314)
  • Chapter 105.  Supplemental Provisions (52 U.S.C.A. §§ 10501 to 52 U.S.C.A. 10508)
  • Chapter 107.  Right to Vote at Age Eighteen (52 U.S.C.A. § 10701, 52 U.S.C.A.  § 10702)
    • Subtitle II.  Voting Assistance and Election Administration
    • Chapter 201.  Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped (52 U.S.C.A. §§ 20101 to 52 U.S.C.A. 20107)
    • Chapter 203.  Registration and Voting by Absent Uniformed Services Voters and Overseas Voters in Elections for Federal Office (52 U.S.C.A. §§ 20301 to 52 U.S.C.A. 20311)
    • Chapter 205.  National Voter Registration (52 U.S.C.A. §§ 20501 to 52 U.S.C.A. 20511)
    • Chapter 207.  Federal Election Records (52 U.S.C.A. §§ 20701 to 52 U.S.C.A. 20706)
    • Chapter 209.  Election Administration Improvement (52 U.S.C.A. §§ 20901 to 52 U.S.C.A. 21145)
      • Subtitle III.  Federal Campaign Finance
      • Chapter 301.  Federal Election Campaigns (52 U.S.C.A. §§ 30101 to 52 U.S.C.A. 30146)