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The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown Hardcover – August 14, 2012
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About the Author
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Hasen is a nationally-recognized expert in election law and campaign finance regulation, and is co-author of a leading casebook on election law.
From 2001-2010, he served (with Dan Lowenstein) as founding co-editor of the quarterly peer-reviewed publication, Election Law Journal. He is the author of more than 80 articles on election law issues, published in numerous journals including the Harvard Law Review (forthcoming 2012), Stanford Law Review, and Supreme Court Review. He was elected to the American Law Institute in 2009.
His op-eds and commentaries have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, and Slate. Hasen also writes the often-quoted Election Law Blog.
Top Customer Reviews
Can anything be done about this sorry state of affairs? Absolutely. As Hasen points out, the U.S. could easily adopt a centralized nonpartisan system that would ensure that elections are administered professionally and consistently throughout the country. Almost all Western democracies have such systems and have avoided anything like the U.S.'s problems over the past decade.
But will anything be done to improve the status quo? Hasen's pessimistic (but probably correct) answer is no. Neither party is eager to relinquish control over electoral matters to apolitical technocrats. Indeed, one party sees ballot access as a wedge issue that can energize its supporters and prevent its opponents from going to the polls in the first place. The state and local officials who currently run America's elections are also fiercely opposed to giving up their authority.
We are left, then, in a terrible limbo--aware of our system's glaring flaws but entirely unable to fix them. Unfortunately, it will likely take another catastrophe on par with Florida in 2000 before our present impasse is broken.
Hasen's 'The Voting Wars' begins with the 2000 Florida debacle, which Hasen contends mainly taught operatives the benefits of manipulating the rules. Continuing, Hasen covers efforts to suppress voting aimed at minority communities - spreading misinformation through flyers, and restricting registration. He also contends that much of what is described as partisan manipulation often is instead possibly lack of training and/or incompetence. Not surprisingly, efforts to improve via national standardization is fought by local officials fearing loss of autonomy. More disappointing - since 2000 not one state with partisan administration of elections has removed authority from partisans, though we have greatly reduced the prevalence of punched-card balloting.
Between 2005 and 2007, ten states considered new voter ID legislation - always a Republican-led affair. Between 2002 - 2005, only seventy federal convictions occurred for election crimes - only 35 were against voters, the rest vs. party and campaign workers. Less than 20 were convicted of casting fraudulent ballots, 5 for registration fraud.
Why so few cases? It's too easy to get caught when conducted at a level intended to sway election results, and therefore we don't have a single recent example of anyone even attempting it. Absentee ballot fraud is much easier.Read more ›
I think that the best parts of the book are about the Florida 2000 meltdown and also about the cases of voter suppression that have taken place. He also pretty much succeeds in persuading the reader that the problem about voter impersonation fraud is largely illusory (but also somewhat grudgingly admits that for the most so is the claim that voter photo id requirements will disenfranchise large numbers of people).
Another interesting argument the author makes is that the machinery of US elections is far too much in the hands of highly partisan elected officials (like the Florida Secretary of State in 2000 who was a Republican and the Florida Attorney General who was a Democrat). It would be better to have nonpartisan civil servants running key parts of the elections (like what happens in many other countries).
I can't give this book five stars because the author --even though he tries very hard to be nonpartisan-- sometimes lets his Democrat leanings color some of his arguments (he was an adviser to the 2000 Gore campaign during the Florida standoff in one of its legal pleadings). He pours a lot of scorn on people like John Fund and others who have hyped (in his opinion) the threat of voter fraud (calling the "Fraudulent Fraud Squad").Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been reading this book along with my Election Law text book for a course in law school. This book gives the background and adds a bit of a human element to the legal... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jackie Shepherd
I agree with the summary of maskirovka. I strongly disagree with the reviews of:
mark smith, cliff arnebeck, and heyletsevolve. Read more
I used this book for a short research paper and found it to be a very readable and concise overview of the deeply flawed, decentralized, partisan American election system. Read morePublished on April 9, 2013 by tim
I have a friend, a JD who specialized in election law before deciding to teach school instead. It was his extensive knowledge of the Constitution that led me to understand that the... Read morePublished on November 1, 2012 by Mark E. Smith
Hansen goes out of his way in this book to attempt (unsuccessfully) to discredit other investigators who have exposed how secretly programmed, corporate-controlled electronic... Read morePublished on October 2, 2012 by heyletsevolve
Robert Kennedy, Jr. in June 2006 wrote an excellent article describing the grand theft of the 2004 Presidential election. Read morePublished on September 29, 2012 by Cliff Arnebeck
Rick Hasen chronicles the voting wars largely through a number of prominent battles between Democrats and Republicans over voting rules and vote counts, such as those in Florida,... Read morePublished on September 21, 2012 by Kevin Pallister
Superb acting and realistic depiction of the voting wars in 2000. This film is the best explanation for what happened and how it happened. Read morePublished on September 21, 2012 by Shirley Leckie
Introduction: The Next Meltdown - A ten-page preview of the seven following chapters.
1 All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Florida - 30 pages covering events of the... Read more