ballot battles the history of disputed elections in the united states

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Ballot Battles

Author : Edward Foley
ISBN : 9780190235277
Genre : Election monitoring
File Size : 56. 81 MB
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"The 2000 presidential election, with its problems in Florida, was not the first major vote-counting controversy in the nation's history--nor the last. Ballot Battles traces the evolution of America's experience with these disputes, from 1776 to now, explaining why they have proved persistently troublesome and offering an institutional solution"--

Ballot Battles

Author : Edward Foley
ISBN : 9780190235291
Genre : Law
File Size : 72. 44 MB
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The 2000 presidential race resulted in the highest-profile ballot battle in over a century. But it is far from the only American election determined by a handful of votes and marred by claims of fraud. Since the founding of the nation, violence frequently erupted as the votes were being counted, and more than a few elections produced manifestly unfair results. Despite America's claim to be the world's greatest democracy, its adherence to the basic tenets of democratic elections-the ability to count ballots accurately and fairly even when the stakes are high-has always been shaky. A rigged gubernatorial election in New York in 1792 nearly ended in calls for another revolution, and an 1899 gubernatorial race even resulted in an assassination. Though acts of violence have decreased in frequency over the past century, fairness and accuracy in ballot counting nonetheless remains a basic problem in American political life. In Ballot Battles, Edward Foley presents a sweeping history of election controversies in the United States, tracing how their evolution generated legal precedents that ultimately transformed how we determine who wins and who loses. While weaving a narrative spanning over two centuries, Foley repeatedly returns to an originating event: because the Founding Fathers despised parties and never envisioned the emergence of a party system, they wrote a constitution that did not provide clear solutions for high-stakes and highly-contested elections in which two parties could pool resources against one another. Moreover, in the American political system that actually developed, politicians are beholden to the parties which they represent - and elected officials have typically had an outsized say in determining the outcomes of extremely close elections that involve recounts. This underlying structural problem, more than anything else, explains why intense ballot battles that leave one side feeling aggrieved will continue to occur for the foreseeable future. American democracy has improved dramatically over the last two centuries. But the same cannot be said for the ways in which we determine who wins the very close races. From the founding until today, there has been little progress toward fixing the problem. Indeed, supporters of John Jay in 1792 and opponents of Lyndon Johnson in the 1948 Texas Senate race would find it easy to commiserate with Al Gore after the 2000 election. Ballot Battles is not only the first full chronicle of contested elections in the US. It also provides a powerful explanation of why the American election system has been-and remains-so ineffective at deciding the tightest races in a way that all sides will agree is fair.

Ballot Battles

Author : Edward Foley
ISBN : 9780190235277
Genre : Election monitoring
File Size : 23. 27 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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"The 2000 presidential election, with its problems in Florida, was not the first major vote-counting controversy in the nation's history--nor the last. Ballot Battles traces the evolution of America's experience with these disputes, from 1776 to now, explaining why they have proved persistently troublesome and offering an institutional solution"--

Plutocrats United

Author : Richard L. Hasen
ISBN : 9780300216745
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 54. 2 MB
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Campaign financing is one of today’s most divisive political issues. The left asserts that the electoral process is rife with corruption. The right protests that the real aim of campaign limits is to suppress political activity and protect incumbents. Meanwhile, money flows freely on both sides. In Plutocrats United, Richard Hasen argues that both left and right avoid the key issue of the new Citizens United era: balancing political inequality with free speech. The Supreme Court has long held that corruption and its appearance are the only reasons to constitutionally restrict campaign funds. Progressives often agree but have a much broader view of corruption. Hasen argues for a new focus and way forward: if the government is to ensure robust political debate, the Supreme Court should allow limits on money in politics to prevent those with great economic power from distorting the political process.

Broken Ballots

Author : Douglas Jones
ISBN : 1575866366
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 24. 92 MB
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For many of us, the presidential election of 2000 was a wake-up call. The controversy following the vote count led to demands for election reform. But the new voting systems that were subsequently introduced to the market have serious security flaws, and many are confusing and difficult to use. Moreover, legislation has not kept up with the constantly evolving voting technology, leaving little to no legal recourse when votes are improperly counted. How did we come to acquire the complex technology we now depend on to count votes? Douglas Jones and Barbara Simons probe this question, along with public policy and regulatory issues raised by our voting technologies. Broken Ballots is a thorough and incisive analysis of the current voting climate that approaches American elections from technological, legal, and historical perspectives. The authors examine the ways in which Americans vote today, gauging how inaccurate, unreliable, and insecure our voting systems are. An important book for election administrators, political scientists, and students of government and technology policy, Broken Ballots is also a vital tool for any voting American.

The American Ballot Box In The Mid Nineteenth Century

Author : Richard Franklin Bensel
ISBN : 052153786X
Genre : History
File Size : 22. 19 MB
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During the middle of the nineteenth century, Americans voted in saloons in the most derelict sections of great cities, in hamlets swarming with Union soldiers, or in wooden cabins so isolated that even neighbors had difficulty finding them. Their votes have come down to us as election returns reporting tens of millions of officially sanctioned democratic acts. Neatly arrayed in columns by office, candidate, and party, these returns are routinely interpreted as reflections of the preferences of individual voters and thus seem to unambiguously document the existence of a robust democratic ethos. By carefully examining political activity in and around the polling place, this book suggests some important caveats which must attend this conclusion. These caveats, in turn, help to bridge the interpretive chasm now separating ethno-cultural descriptions of popular politics from political economic analyses of state and national policy-making.

Vagrant Nation

Author : Risa Goluboff
ISBN : 9780199768448
Genre : Vagrancy
File Size : 42. 64 MB
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"In 1950s America, it was remarkably easy for police to arrest almost anyone for almost any reason. The criminal justice system-and especially the age-old law of vagrancy-played a key role not only in maintaining safety and order but also in enforcing conventional standards of morality and propriety. A person could be arrested for sporting a beard, making a speech, or working too little. Yet by the end of the 1960s, vagrancy laws were discredited and American society was fundamentally transformed. What happened? In Vagrant Nation, Risa Goluboff provides a truly groundbreaking account of this transformation. By reading the history of the 1960s through the lens of vagrancy laws, Goluboff shows how constitutional challenges to long-standing police practices were at the center of the multiple movements that made "the 1960s." Vagrancy laws were not just about poor people. They were so broad and flexible-criminalizing everything from immorality to wandering about-that they made it possible for the police to arrest anyone out of place in any way: Beats and hippies; Communists and Vietnam War protestors; racial minorities, civil rights activists, and interracial couples; prostitutes, single women, and gay men, lesbians, and other sexual minorities. As hundreds of these "vagrants" and their lawyers claimed that vagrancy laws were unconstitutional, the laws became a flashpoint for debates about radically different visions of order and freedom. In Goluboff's compelling portrayal, the legal campaign against vagrancy laws becomes a sweeping legal and social history of the 1960s. It touches on movements advocating everything from civil rights to peace to gay rights to welfare rights to cultural revolution. As Goluboff links the human stories of those arrested to the great controversies of the time, she makes coherent an era that often seems chaotic. She also powerfully demonstrates how ordinary people, with the help of lawyers and judges, can change the meaning of the Constitution. By 1972, the Supreme Court announced that vagrancy laws that had been a law enforcement staple for four hundred years were no longer constitutional. That decision, as well as the social movements and legal arguments that prompted it, has had major consequences for current debates about police power and constitutional rights. Clashes over everything from stop and frisk to homelessness to public protests echo the same tension between order and freedom that vagrancy cases tried to resolve. Since the early 1970s, courts, policymakers, activists, and ordinary citizens have had to contend with the massive legal vacuum left by vagrancy law's downfall. Battles over what, if anything, should replace vagrancy laws, like battles over the legacy of the sixties transformations themselves, are far from over"--

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