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The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown Hardcover – August 14, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a Stephen King novel for election junkies.  No one has a better eye for the next big thing in election law than Rick Hasen.  The Voting Wars provides an engaging, highly readable guide to the thrill ride we call election season."—Heather Gerken, author of The Democracy Index:  Why Our Election System is Failing and How to Fix It (Heather Gerken)

"One of the most disturbing recent US political developments is the rapid growth of election administration litigation.  Professor Hasen has masterfully described this trend, showing how political parties seek to gain advantage through election recounts, voter id laws, absentee ballot procedures, and the like. Scholars, journalists and interested citizens will benefit from Hasen's insightful overview of this struggle and the potential for even more election related controversy and litigation in the future.”—Bruce Cain, Heller Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley  
(Bruce Cain)

"Just in time for the election, Rick Hasen brings this essential reminder of all the lessons never learned after Bush v. Gore. If we don't course-correct our partisan voting systems and ever more partisan efforts to remedy them, Hasen reminds us that we are looking into the face of a democratic disaster."—Dahlia Lithwick, Senior Legal Correspondent, Slate magazine
(Dahlia Lithwick)

"Nobody knows more about elections and election law than Rick Hasen, and nobody writes more clearly about their complexities. The Voting Wars is a straightforward, clear-headed unbiased account of our flawed system, the multiple damaging controversies we have incurred as a consequence, the polarization that has both caused the problems and been exacerbated by them, and the risky path ahead. What a timely and important book!"—Norman J. Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
(Norman J. Ornstein)

"Hasen has done a masterful job of describing the post-Florida 2000 battles over election registration, voting, and vote-counting. This book is a compelling read, and guide to the partisan battleground aptly titled The Voting Wars. Unfortunately, as Hasen explains, our election system is still precariously positioned, needing only one more bad series of events to create the next Presidential election crisis."—Trevor Potter, Former Commissioner and Chair, Federal Election Commission, and General Counsel, McCain for President, 2000 and 2008
(Trevor Potter)

"Hasen is a national treasure to students and practitioners of election law. His Voting Wars is a colorful, trenchant, fair-minded and powerfully-argued account of how partisanship and localism continue to haunt the administration of American elections more than a decade after Bush v. Gore and threaten yet another election meltdown."—Thomas E. Mann, W. Averell Harriman Chair and Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

(Thomas E. Mann)

The Voting Wars is a spirited, and deeply disturbing, chronicle of the nonstop partisan skirmishing over voting rights, procedures, and laws that has become a pervasive presence in American politics since the disputed 2000 election. It would be difficult to read Hasen’s informed and fair-minded account and not worry about the future of American democracy.”—Alexander Keyssar, author of The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States
(Alexander Keyssar)

"[A]stute."—Kirkus Reviews
(Kirkus Reviews)

“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. . . . Hasen’s timely and factually rich account merits attention from jurists, policy specialists, and government reformers of all political stripes.”—Publishers Weekly
(Publishers Weekly)

About the Author

Richard L. Hasen is Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science, University of California, Irvine School of Law. He lives in Studio City, CA.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300182031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300182033
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #997,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Rick Hasen is America's most prolific and best informed observer of developments in election law. In The Voting Wars, he describes in captivating detail the shambles that is the American system of election administration. Among other topics, he covers the travesty of Bush v. Gore and the 2000 Florida recount, the cynical efforts of the "Fraudulent Fraud Squad" to lower turnout among poor and minority voters, the left's conspiracy theories about rigged voting machines, and the alarmingly high likelihood of another electoral meltdown. Readers will be educated and entertained by the book--and also shocked by the partisanship and incompetence that infect American election administration to its core.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Robert Kennedy, Jr. in June 2006 wrote an excellent article describing the grand theft of the 2004 Presidential election. His conclusions in this regard were based, first, upon the expert advice he received from Lou Harris, the pollster for his dad and uncle in their political campaigns. Lou Harris actually looked at the facts in the Ohio 2004 Presidential election. On that advice, so did Bobby Kennedy. Kennedy examined the dramatic exit poll discrepancies, the dramatic anomalies in which, according to Ken Blackwell's certified results, both Democrats and proponents of gay marriage in large numbers (more than the reported margin of Bush's victory) voted for George W. Bush rather than John Kerry.

Kennedy's well researched and documented conclusion that the 2004 Presidential election was stolen preceded the discovery that the Republican computer serving apparatus in Chattanooga, TN, SmarTech, was interconnected with the Ohio Secretary of State's entire election operation in the 2004 election. It also preceded the discovery of the illegal destruction of some 1.5 million ballots from the 2004 Ohio election.

Rick Hasen dismisses Bobby Kennedy's work on the basis of a superficial criticism from an unqualified critic. Thus, Hasen's "Voting Wars" misses Karl Rove's real war on democracy through corrupt funding, voter suppression and large scale vote count rigging. According to Hasen, Karl Rove's grand thefts of elections are outside the margin of reasonable litigation and are the stuff of wild conspiracy theorists.

The book contains good material on the fraudulent attack upon Democratic voter fraud, which is why I did not give it a one-star rating.
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Format: Hardcover
"The Voting Wars" by Richard L. Hasen is a must read for those of us who place ourselves in the category of political junkies. The American voting system in the world's leading democracy is much more complicated that we assume, and far more intricate than portrayed on MSNBC of Fox News. Professor Hasen reviews how both Democrats and Republicans attempt to manipulate the system while hiding behind their respective ideologies, and how the states, and at times even the courts, are swayed by politics while adjucating decisions on contested elections. Hasen visits some of the more recent close elections and the behind the scenes issues in deciding them. His ananlysis of election the law is presented in a manner that the layman can understand. Can Flordia 2000 happen again? If you are the least bit concerned, then you need to read this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I agree with the summary of maskirovka. I strongly disagree with the reviews of:
mark smith, cliff arnebeck, and heyletsevolve. The last three reviewers take the position of the radical left which the author-Hasen refuted and/or dismissed for being over the top and an untrue analysis of the voting problems he outlined in his book.
However, I do NOT support most of the author's proposed solutions to the problems he outlined in his book as I believe they would make most problems only worse. For example, on page 197 of his book Prof. Hasen suggests we need non partisan professional election administration officials at all 3 levels of government, but does not really say how to achieve that result. It would be difficult to find "non-partisan" people to serve on election boards. Furthermore, on page 199, he proposes the federal government register all voters, pay the cost and verify them. Again , I prefer to keep that function with the state and local government entities and out of the federal government hands. Centralized control could compromise liberty. But, we might want to add independent and/or libertarian party members to democrat and republican members of election boards in order to keep the democrats and the republicans from colluding with one another to deny votes to those 3rd pary challengers!
In any case, I thought Prof. Hasen's book well worth reading for all americans concerned with understanding various voting problems in the U.S., especially in light of the disputed elections of 2000, and the close election of 2004.
terry jennrich
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