In 2000, just a few hundred votes out of millions cast in the state of Florida separated Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush from his Democratic opponent, Al Gore. The outcome of the election rested on Florida's 25 electoral votes, and legal wrangling continued for 36 days.Read more...
In 2000, just a few hundred votes out of millions cast in the state of Florida separated Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush from his Democratic opponent, Al Gore. The outcome of the election rested on Florida's 25 electoral votes, and legal wrangling continued for 36 days. Then, abruptly, one of the most controversial Supreme Court decisions in U.S. history, Bush v. Gore, cut short the battle. Since the Florida debacle we have witnessed a partisan war over election rules. Election litigation has skyrocketed, and election time brings out inevitable accusations by political partisans of voter fraud and voter suppression. These allegations have shaken public confidence, as campaigns deploy "armies of lawyers" and the partisan press revs up when elections are expected to be close and the stakes are high.
Richard L. Hasen, a respected authority on election law, chronicles and analyzes the battles over election rules from 2000 to the present. From a nonpartisan standpoint he explores the rising number of election-related lawsuits and charges of voter fraud as well as the decline of public confidence in fair results. He explains why future election disputes will be worse than previous ones--more acrimonious, more distorted by unsubstantiated allegations, and amplified by social media. No reader will fail to conclude with Hasen that election reform is an urgent priority, one that demands the attention of conscientious citizens and their elected representatives.
Also available The Fraudulent Fraud Squad, an e-excerpt from The Voting Wars
Released February 2012 9780300187489 $1.99
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-06-04
- Reviewer: Staff
In his well-drawn analysis, UC-Irvine law and political science professor Hasen considers unwieldy procedures, conflicting state laws, politically motivated election challenges, and legal follies that undermine public confidence in the voting process. Election integrity is fundamental to democratic government, Hasen observes, and at risk if citizens lose faith in it. The disputed Bush-Gore election results of 2000 hang over this book like a bad chad. As Hasen writes, “Florida mainly taught political operatives the benefits of manipulating the rules, controlling election machinery, and litigating early and often.” Hasen reviews several ugly elections that didn’t end on Election Day, notably the 2008 Coleman-Franken Senate race in Minnesota, illustrated in the book with a “Lizard People” write-in ballot. Hasen focuses on the GOP attack machine he calls the “Fraudulent Fraud Squad” and its push for voter ID laws, while sidestepping voter registration fraud and waffling on Democratic claims of voter suppression.Hasen’s timely and factually rich account merits attention from jurists, policy specialists, and government reformers of all political stripes. (Aug.)