By Edward Foley

ISBN-10: 0190235276

ISBN-13: 9780190235277

The 2000 presidential race led to the highest-profile poll conflict in over a century. however it is way from the one American election made up our minds through a handful of votes and marred by way of claims of fraud. because the founding of the state, violence often erupted because the votes have been being counted, and quite a lot of elections produced obviously unfair effects. regardless of America's declare to be the world's maximum democracy, its adherence to the elemental tenets of democratic elections-the skill to count number ballots safely and reasonably even if the stakes are high-has continuously been shaky. A rigged gubernatorial election in long island in 1792 approximately led to demands one other revolution, and an 1899 gubernatorial race even led to an assassination. notwithstanding acts of violence have diminished in frequency during the last century, equity and accuracy in poll counting still continues to be a easy challenge in American political life.

In Ballot Battles, Edward Foley offers a sweeping historical past of election controversies within the usa, tracing how their evolution generated felony precedents that finally remodeled how we ensure who wins and who loses. whereas weaving a story spanning over centuries, Foley again and again returns to an originating occasion: as the Founding Fathers despised events and not estimated the emergence of a celebration process, they wrote a structure that didn't offer transparent recommendations for high-stakes and highly-contested elections within which events may possibly pool assets opposed to each other. additionally, within the American political procedure that really constructed, politicians are beholden to the events which they characterize - and elected officers have more often than not had an oversized say in picking the results of tremendous shut elections that contain recounts. This underlying structural challenge, greater than the rest, explains why excessive poll battles that go away one facet feeling aggrieved will proceed to take place for the foreseeable future.

American democracy has more advantageous dramatically over the past centuries. however the comparable can't be stated for the ways that we ascertain who wins the very shut races. From the founding till this day, there was little growth towards solving the matter. certainly, supporters of John Jay in 1792 and competitors of Lyndon Johnson within the 1948 Texas Senate race could locate it effortless to commiserate with Al Gore after the 2000 election. Ballot Battles is not just the 1st complete chronicle of contested elections within the US. It additionally presents a robust clarification of why the yank election process has been-and remains-so useless at determining the tightest races in a fashion that each one aspects will agree is fair.

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Ballot Battles: The History of Disputed Elections in the United States by Edward Foley


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