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, was once now not the 1st significant vote-counting controversy within the nation's history--nor the final. poll Battles strains 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 again and again not easy and supplying an institutional resolution"

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Governor Livingston’s own proclamation, in addition to claiming to be “for the public good,” acknowledged that its questionable “legality” would be taken up in the House itself. 53 On the very same day that Livingston issued the proclamation, Madison wrote to George Washington to comment on the New Jersey election. Madison, having defeated Monroe for his own seat in the first Congress, was at that time waiting in New York for a quorum to arrive. Washington, still in Mount Vernon, was preparing to come to New York for his inauguration as the first president under the new Constitution.

In this situation, theft of the result—if by “theft” one means a partisan power-grab regardless of what the valid voters actually wanted as expressed through their ballots—is to be expected and tolerated, so long as it is confined to the unique circumstances of the exceptionally close election and does not extend to normal circumstances, when margins of victory are much more decisive. On this view, the health of a vote-counting system should not be measured by how it handles the exceptionally close election that is rare, but instead only by how it handles all the other routine elections.

At the same time, the book also considers the extent to which we have the capacity to overcome deficiencies associated with the creation of the constitutional structures that launched the United States of America, a federal republic, as a great experiment in popular sovereignty. The story that this book tells, however, does not ends with the Founding. Instead, it is a story about how the nation, and the states within it, have reworked the constitutional apparatus bequeathed by the Founders. Each generation of Americans has needed to adapt that constitutional legacy to the unexpected circumstances that emerged in the context of intense two-party competition over the counting of ballots in major elections.

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