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Changing How America Votes

Edited by Todd Donovan

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Democracy requires conversations about how its practice can be improved. This is an enduring theme in American politics, and demands for change in how we conduct elections are highly salient today. The crisis of the 2000 presidential election generated demands for changes in election rules, but the response was muted. After 2000, several states adopted photo ID laws, and other rules that made it more difficult to vote. The 2010 Citizens United decision heralded in deregulation of campaign finance. The Voting Rights Act was weakened by The Court in 2013. More recently, the unprecedented presidential election of 2016 generated accusations from the left and right that America’s elections were ‘a rigged system’ of caucuses, conventions, and campaign finance desperately in need of reforms.

Changing How America Votes is an edited volume comprised of 15 short substantive chapters on various specific reform topics that examine how electoral democracy in the United States is working, and how it might be improved. Editor Todd Donovan has written brief introductory and concluding chapters, and very brief introductions to the following three thematic sections that divide the readings accordingly: Voting and Participation: Changing Who Votes; Electoral Rules and Systems: Changing How We Vote; and Changing the Role of Parties and Money.

In order to facilitate student learning and assist instructors’ ability to use the book, this edited volume reads as a coherent text. The contributors, many of whom are accomplished scholars, or who write frequent blog posts and Op-Ed pieces, were asked to write as accessibly as possible for an undergraduate audience, and address many of the following topics:
• Why is this issue important?
• What would a proposed reform look like?
• What are arguments in favor of the proposal?
• Is there evidence it might make a difference, and what difference would it make?
• Beyond the evidence, is it the right thing to do?

List of contributors: Joseph Anthony, Lonna Rae Atkeson, Matt Barreto , Brian Brox, Barry C. Burden, Jason S. Byers, Jamie L. Carson, Jason P. Casellas, Kellen Gracey, Wendy L. Hansen, Ron Hayduk, Jordan Hsu, David C. Kimball, Vladimir Kogan, Martha Kropf, Eric McGhee, Stephen Nuño, Drew Spencer Penrose, Rob Richie, Gabriel Sanchez, Shane P. Singh, Caroline J. Tolbert, Hannah Walker, Holly Whisman, and Kenicia Wright
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 256Size: 6 1/8 x 9 1/2
978-1-4422-7606-2 • Hardback • April 2017 • $70.00 • (£47.95)
978-1-4422-7607-9 • Paperback • April 2017 • $35.00 • (£23.95)
978-1-4422-7608-6 • eBook • April 2017 • $33.00 • (£22.95)
Todd Donovan is professor of political science at Western Washington University, where he conducts research and writes about elections, representation, and electoral reform. He was recently elected to the non-partisan Whatcom County Council, after being elected to the County’s Charter Review Commission. Donovan has worked as an expert witness on election matters in federal courts and in several states.

Preface
1. Evaluating American Elections: Are They Working Well?, by Todd Donovan

Part I: Voting and Participation: Changing Who Votes
2. Compulsory Voting and the United States, by Shane P. Singh
3. Race and the Right to Vote: The Modern Barrier of Voter ID Laws, by Hannah Walker, Gabriel Sanchez, Stephen Nuño, and Matt Barreto
4. Provisional Votes: An Election Reform to Count More Votes, byMartha Kropf and Holly Whisman
5. One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: The Curious Case of Immigrant Voting Rights, by Ron Hayduk

Part II: Electoral Rules and Systems: Changing How We Vote
6. Changing How America Votes for President, by Caroline J. Tolbert and Kellen Gracey
7. Redistricting and Representation: Searching for “Fairness” between the Lines, by Vladimir Kogan and Eric McGhee
8. Ranked Choice Voting: A Different Way of Casting and Counting Votes, by David C. Kimball and Joseph Anthony
9. The Impact of Electoral Rules on Minority Representation, by Jason P. Casellas and Kenicia Wright
10. The Fair Representation Act for Congress, by Rob Richie and Drew Spencer Penrose

Part III: Changing the Roles of Parties and Money
11. What’s Rules Got to Do with It? Parties, Reform, and Selection in the Presidential Nomination Process, by Jason S. Byers and Jamie L. Carson
12. Signature Requirements and Ballot Access for Non–Major Party Candidates, by Barry C. Burden and Jordan Hsu
13. Third Parties and the Fight for Electoral Reform, by Brian Brox
14. Campaign Finance in U.S. Politics: An Era without Limits, by Lonna Rae Atkeson and Wendy L. Hansen
15. When Do Election Rules Change?, by Todd Donovan
References
Index
Contributors
  • Includes results of the historic 2016 Presidential Election


  • Contributions by Joseph Anthony, Lonna Rae Atkeson, Matt Barreto, Brian Brox, Barry C. Burden, Jason S. Byers, Jamie L. Carson, Jason P. Casellas, Kellen Gracey, Wendy L. Hansen, Ron Hayduk, Jordan Hsu, David C. Kimball, Vladamir Kogan, Martha Kropf, Eric McGhee, Stephen Nuño, Drew Spencer Penrose, Rob Richie, Gabriel Sanchez, Shane P. Singh, Caroline J. Tolbert, Hannah Walker, Holly Whisman, and Kenicia Wright.


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