- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Steal This Vote: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America Paperback – Bargain Price, June 22, 2005
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Special offers and product promotions
From Publishers Weekly
In a riveting and frightening account, Gumbel, U.S. correspondent for Britain's Independent, traces election fraud in America from the 18th century to the present, spotlighting the Hayes-Tilden election of 1876, vote buying in the Gilded Age and the history of black disenfranchisement in the post-Reconstruction South. The last 100 pages are devoted to the elections of 2000 and 2004. Gumbel rehearses the Florida mess and argues that those who care about voting rights should be terrified by Justice Scalia's argument in Bush v. Gore that the Constitution doesn't per se guarantee a right of suffrage. Gumbel shows that the confusion (at best) and cheating (at worst) that went on in Florida are not unusual, describing numerous county and state elections plagued with problems: registered voters purged from the rolls; queues at polling places so long that would-be voters gave up; and confusing ballots. Who are the villains? Not just the Republicans; he shows Democrats equally willing to play dirty. This book is sure to be controversial, and if it garners media attention, that's all for the good, for the issues Gumbel so winningly addresses are crucial to the future of democracy. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Despite the great surprise and concern about electoral fraud in the last two presidential elections, dirty elections are nothing new in American history. Journalist Gumbel suggests that voter fraud is as old as the nation itself. Although the political Right and Left have their divergent views on the causes of such corruption, in reality both appear to recognize and concede that whoever wins wins, because both sides have equally dirty hands. Many of the technological solutions to mitigate election fraud have become the means by which it is secured. In part 1, Gumbel covers voting in the age before mechanization, from post-Reconstruction through Chicago-style Mob rule that helped elect President Kennedy. In part 2, he covers voting in the machine age, noting that the benefits of technological advancement are in the eye of the beholder who benefits by winning. Gumbel includes international assessments of our electoral process, including lack of national standards regarding felons and inadequate protection of minorities' and low-income citizens' votes. However, he provides general recommendations worthy of consideration, including direct elections and same-day registration. Vernon Ford
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
On the way we learn about a number of fascinating scandals of the past, now largely forgotten, along with some that haven't been, such as the famous Tammany Hall gang that dominated New York City for a decade. Gumbel shows that, while big-city corruption got the publicity, elections in many rural areas were equally dirty. He also show how periodic concerns over ballot box stuffing have resulted in a numbr of reforms that, by making voting harder, have effectively lowered participation, which was once at around 80% of eligible voters, and now is sometimes below 50%. For instance, the secret ballot, by replacing earlier party-distributed ballots that had shown, by color and logos, which party they represented, had the quite intentional effect of disenfranchising many illiterate immigrants and former slaves. The practice of denying the vote to convicted felons even after completion of their sentence was invented entirely to prevent former slaves from voting, and is used to disenfranchise blacks to this day, as notably happened in Florida 2000.
Gumbel's discussion of the Florida crisis is useful, although I thought a little too hard on Gore. His discussion of Ohio 2004, which he feels was clearly a legitimate victory, although he does show the strong evidence of illegitimate means used to suppress the Kerry vote, is obviously unconvincing for many of his readers here. (It's interesting to note that, although the book really works not to be a partisan tract, the reviewers on Amazon seem to be overwhelmingly Democrats.)
The extensive discussion in this book of touch screen voting shows clearly how flawed the technology is in current form. He also adds a fascinating historical perspective by showing how past changes, earlier voting machines and punch card ballots, were promoted in their time as technological wonders which would eliminate corruption and make voting easier.
One thing that is very convincing indeed in this section is the discussion of how professional election administrators have repeatedly ignored, downplayed, or just flat lied about the flaws in technology they have committed taxpayer money to, both with e-voting and with previous technologies. I used to think that the professionals who explained how my fears of touch screen voting were groundless probably knew what they were talking about, since they worked with the systems so closely. I won't ever trust those quotes again after reading this book.
Gumbel's discussion of touch screen voting in other countries is also interesting, both for how he shows that such advanced nations as Venezuela do far better than the US at holding clean and reliable elections, as well as some anecdotes showing that American voting equipment companies have just as doubtful a record overseas as they do at home. This section will give you the mild relief of knowing that the way they're screwing up our elections is (probably) more a matter of corporate greed and incompetence than a deep conspiracy to install permanent right-wing government by fixing elections.
His chapter on the 2004 election, however, is riddled with inaccuracies and oversights. Gumbel obviously did not read "What Went Wrong in Ohio," a.k.a. the Conyers report (available on Amazon). If he had, he would have known that the recount in Ohio was rigged by partisan technicians, and therefore, not a true confirmation of Bush's "victory." Team Bush stole the 2004 election, in ways far more subversive than 2000, thus averting 36 days of legal deliberations and partisan spin. All the evidence is hidden in plain sight, lucidly compiled in "Fooled Again" by Mark Crispin Miller (for the sake of full disclosure, I worked on Miller's book, but will not recieve a penny from its sales. My intention is to encourage people to read as much as possible about the current state of our electoral system).
Read Gumbel's book. Then supplement it with Miller's and the Conyers report. Decide for yourself: was the 2004 election stolen?
Most recent customer reviews