The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown

Richard L Hasen, Author
Richard L. Hasen. Yale Univ., $30 (256p) ISBN 978-0-300-18203-3
Reviewed on: 06/04/2012
Release date: 08/01/2012
Paperback - 239 pages - 978-0-300-19824-9
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-300-18421-1
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-282-24181-7
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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.)
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