The Voting Wars

Reviews

“Richard Hasen, professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine, and founder of Election Law Journal, the leading scholarly venue in the field, has a knack for taking byzantine details of voting technicalities gone awry and the incredibly complex, multistage legal battles that follow and unfurling it all as a riveting story. His new book, The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown, offers the clearest short discussion of Bush v. Gore in print. It goes on to explain how Republicans launched a campaign to make election fraud a major public issue, how with far-reaching consequences the Supreme Court validated voter ID in 2008 in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, a case from Indiana, and how seemingly minor incidents in contests around the country over the past decade have ratcheted up distrust between the two parties.”

Rick Valelly, The American Prospect

 

“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.”

Publisher’s Weekly

“[A]stute”–Kirkus Reviews

“Rick Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, and one of the nation’s foremost experts on election law, has published a preview of a new book with a sobering reminder for those of us who oppose the growing body of laws requiring identification in order to vote. . . Having established a rare level of sobriety on a very fraught subject, Mr. Hasen makes it clear that he is still very much opposed to these laws.”
- David FirestoneNew York Times, Taking Note Blog

“For Mr. Hasen, the main problem with our voting system is the partisan way in which it is run. Here he stands on stronger ground. American elections are ultimately administered by officials who, in a crunch, rarely make decisions that hurt their own party. Elections are also run largely by individual counties where the professionalism of officials can vary widely and where precinct-level voting is often supervised by senior-citizen volunteers.”

- Henry Olsen, Wall Street Journal