The elections are not over. In addition to the automatic recount in South Dakota, there is still the runoff in Louisiana for Senator Landrieu’s seat. I previously suggested that this would be run under McCain-Feingold’s rules, because the effective date of the law is today. I have been informed that a last minute amendment grandfathered in this race and any recounts under the old rules. Here is the relevant language:
Except as provided in the succeeding provisions of this section, the effective date of this Act, and the amendments made by this Act, is November 6, 2002. . . . . [Selected provisions, including soft money rules] shall take effect on November 6, 2002, but shall not apply with respect to runoff elections, recounts, or election contests resulting from elections held prior to such date.
Accordingly, under this grandfather provision, the parties will be able to use soft money to conduct the recounts in South Dakota, and for the runoff in Louisiana.