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Emma Olson Sharkey

Counsel Practice Areas: Political Law Phone: 1-202-968-4554 Email:

Emma Olson Sharkey is Counsel in Elias Law Group’s Political Law practice. She advises clients engaged in efforts related to ballot measures, political and issue advocacy, recalls, voter registration, and voting rights.

Emma is a leading ballot measure attorney, counseling clients on how to effectively participate in measures across the country. She also routinely defends clients engaged in ballot measure activity before state agencies and courts. Most recently, Emma successfully challenged misleading and inaccurate ballot language in Ohio.

In addition, Emma regularly speaks and writes about ballot measures, most recently in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Salon, NBC News, CBS News Radio, Democracy Docket, and Common Dreams. Her research has also been cited by TIME Magazine

As outside counsel to nonprofit organizations and political committees, Emma helps clients navigate federal, state, and local campaign finance laws and IRS regulations, aiding them in achieving their strategic objectives.

Emma has also successfully advised clients in critical post-election efforts across the country, including statewide and congressional recounts and contests. For instance, in 2019, she helped successfully represent Democratic candidate Dan McCready in an election fraud hearing that resulted in North Carolina ordering a new congressional election. This decision was the first and only time a state has set aside a federal election because of fraudulent activity.

Prior to Elias Law Group, Emma worked at Perkins Coie LLP as a political law associate, counseling nonprofit organizations, campaigns, and political action committees. She also led the 2016 Wisconsin voter protection program for Hillary for America and the Wisconsin Democratic Coordinated Campaign, advocating for fair voting practices and responding to voting rights litigation.

She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and Northwestern University School of Law. Prior to law school, Emma worked for numerous nonprofit organizations and political campaigns.