Download Ballot battles: the history of disputed elections in the by Edward Foley PDF

By Edward Foley

The 2000 presidential election, with its difficulties in Florida, used to be no longer the 1st significant vote-counting controversy within the nation's history--nor the final. poll Battles lines the evolution of America's adventure with those disputes, from 1776 to now, explaining why they've got proved again and again problematical and providing an institutional solution"

summary: The 2000 presidential election, with its difficulties in Florida, used to be now not the 1st significant vote-counting controversy within the nation's history--nor the final. poll Battles lines the evolution of America's event with those disputes, from 1776 to now, explaining why they've got proved repeatedly frustrating and supplying an institutional answer"

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The rights of the people do not depend upon so precarious a foundation. 33 The law must be concerned, according to this policy argument, about the incentives it gives to poll workers. If the incentives run in the wrong direction, the right to vote itself may be undermined. Therefore, it is sometimes necessary to overlook breaches committed by poll workers in the performance of their duties, in order to uphold the fundamental right to vote. Moreover, this point applies especially when the poll workers’ breach does not affect an accurate determination of which candidate won the election.

When the Founders first encountered vote-counting disputes in congressional elections, they were forced to consider federalism issues that simply had not existed before. For example, if the US House of Representatives determined a state’s count of ballots inaccurate, could the House award the seat to a different candidate than the one the state certified as winning; or, instead, could the House only void the result and send the matter back for the state to fill the seat another way, including by choosing to hold a new election?

In 2008, Minnesota again was especially successful in resolving a major disputed election precisely because it used a special-purpose panel to do so—one that was intentionally and transparently structured to be balanced and neutral toward both sides. By contrast, Washington’s experience with its gubernatorial recount in 2004 showed that when states use institutions that are structurally tilted toward one side, the result is inevitably a lingering perception of unfairness on the other side. A federal court, however imperfect, is more likely to be perceived as fair than a structurally biased state tribunal.

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