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 : 76. 66 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 : 50. 73 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.

The Voting Wars

Author : Richard L. Hasen
ISBN : 9780300184211
Genre : Contested elections
File Size : 29. 25 MB
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In 2000, just a few hundred votes out of millions cast in the state of Florida separated Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush from his Democratic opponent, Al Gore. The outcome of the election rested on Florida's 25 electoral votes, and legal wrangling continued for 36 days. Then, abruptly, one of the most controversial Supreme Court decisions in U.S. history, Bush v. Gore, cut short the battle. Since the Florida debacle we have witnessed a partisan war over election rules. Election litigation has skyrocketed, and election time brings out inevitable accusations by political partisans of voter fraud and voter suppression. These allegations have shaken public confidence, as campaigns deploy "armies of lawyers" and the partisan press revs up when elections are expected to be close and the stakes are high.

Plutocrats United

Author : Richard L. Hasen
ISBN : 0300223544
Genre :
File Size : 45. 92 MB
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From a leading expert on election law, a compelling answer to the dilemmas of campaign finance reform 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."

The Founders And Finance

Author : Thomas K. McCraw
ISBN : 9780674071353
Genre : History
File Size : 66. 52 MB
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In 1776 the U.S. owed huge sums to foreign creditors and its own citizens but, lacking the power to tax, had no means to repay them. This is the first book to tell the story of how foreign-born financial specialists—the immigrant founders Hamilton and Gallatin—solved the fiscal crisis and set the nation on a path to long-term economic prosperity.

The Gatekeepers Of Democracy

Author : Bill Lewers
ISBN : 1530664985
Genre :
File Size : 72. 5 MB
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The Gatekeepers of Democracy is the story of an election. But unlike most works of political fiction which concentrate on the candidates and their campaigns, Gatekeepers sees events through the eyes of the unsung heroes of the American political process: the women and men who volunteer to serve as election officers. The holiday season has come to a close and politics could not be further from people's minds. However the citizens of Virginia's 48th state senate district are in for rare treat. A recent resignation has thrown open a state senate seat, a seat that so happens will determine which party will control the legislature. So on Tuesday January 6, citizens will have the opportunity to choose in this "special" election. The county Office of Elections is busy contacting volunteers to serve as election officers for the day. Carl Marsden has served as chief election officer at his precinct for the past several years. A software engineer by profession, his true passion is the electoral process and he takes great pride in the manner in which he runs his precinct, ensuring that the letter of every law is strictly adhered to. The problem is that Carl is a Republican and the Democrats have just won control of the statehouse in Richmond, the result being that Carl has been "demoted" to assistant chief to make room for a new chief who will be a Democrat. Enter Cindy Phelps, marketing rep, party girl, nominal Democrat, and newly appointed chief election officer whose only interest in the electoral process is getting "community service" added to her resume. Cindy completely underestimates what is necessary to prepare for Election Day. Carl is not pleased. Carl tends to lecture and preach. Cindy is not pleased. And yet they must work together. The Gatekeepers of Democracy is the story of two citizens of different political persuasions, temperaments, and priorities who somehow must rise above their mutual animosity to serve the citizens of their precinct. Together through a grueling sixteen hour day, they battle malfunctioning equipment, implacable partisans, political dirty tricks, deteriorating weather, and most of all each other in the pursuit of that goal. If you have ever served as an election officer, have considered serving, or are just interested in what happens at a precinct on Election Day then this is the book for you.

Fraud Of The Century

Author : Roy Jr. Morris
ISBN : 9781416585459
Genre : History
File Size : 38. 57 MB
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In this major work of popular history and scholarship, acclaimed historian and biographer Roy Morris, Jr., tells the extraordinary story of how, in America's centennial year, the presidency was stolen, the Civil War was almost reignited, and black Americans were consigned to nearly ninety years of legalized segregation in the South. The bitter 1876 contest between Ohio Republican governor Rutherford B. Hayes and New York Democratic governor Samuel J. Tilden is the most sensational, ethically sordid, and legally questionable presidential election in American history. The first since Lincoln's in 1860 in which the Democrats had a real chance of recapturing the White House, the election was in some ways the last battle of the Civil War, as the two parties fought to preserve or overturn what had been decided by armies just eleven years earlier. Riding a wave of popular revulsion at the numerous scandals of the Grant administration and a sluggish economy, Tilden received some 260,000 more votes than his opponent. But contested returns in Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina ultimately led to Hayes's being declared the winner by a specially created, Republican-dominated Electoral Commission after four tense months of political intrigue and threats of violence. President Grant took the threats seriously: he ordered armed federal troops into the streets of Washington to keep the peace. Morris brings to life all the colorful personalities and high drama of this most remarkable -- and largely forgotten -- election. He presents vivid portraits of the bachelor lawyer Tilden, a wealthy New York sophisticate whose passion for clean government propelled him to the very brink of the presidency, and of Hayes, a family man whose midwestern simplicity masked a cunning political mind. We travel to Philadelphia, where the Centennial Exhibition celebrated America's industrial might and democratic ideals, and to the nation's heartland, where Republicans waged a cynical but effective "bloody shirt" campaign to tar the Demo-crats, once again, as the party of disunion and rebellion. Morris dramatically recreates the suspenseful events of election night, when both candidates went to bed believing Tilden had won, and a one-legged former Union army general, "Devil Dan" Sickles, stumped into Republican headquarters and hastily improvised a devious plan to subvert the election in the three disputed southern states. We watch Hayes outmaneuver the curiously passive Tilden and his supporters in the days following the election, and witness the late-night backroom maneuvering of party leaders in the nation's capital, where democracy itself was ultimately subverted and the will of the people thwarted. Fraud of the Century presents compelling evidence that fraud by Republican vote-counters in the three southern states, and especially in Louisiana, robbed Tilden of the presidency. It is at once a masterful example of political reporting and an absorbing read.

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