The 'Tyrannical Mosaic' of American Elections

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The 2000 election exposed the fragile state of the American voting system, but it's unclear how much has changed since the Bush v. Gore controversy 12 years ago. The United States is one of the only developed nations that entrusts its federal elections to state and local officials. Most countries appoint nonpartisan officials for the same purpose. The result, says Rick Hasen, professor of law at University of California, Irvine and editor of the Election Law Blog, is a confusing patchwork of election laws.

"It's a myth to think that we have a single, national election on election day," Rick Hasen says. "When it comes to the election of the president, we have 13,000 separate elections."

Rick Hasen's new book is "The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown."


Richard Hasen

Produced by:

Ellen Frankman and Jillian Weinberger

Comments [5]

Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Voter fraud seems very American at this point... How can you break up 13,000 different elections, with everybody being territorial about who should run things?

Aug. 23 2012 09:35 PM
April from New York

All elections are on weekends. School buses not being used on weekends are used to take those who have no other way to the polls. Their last year in school, whether or not they graduate, students would be given valid IDs for voting. Those who don't go to school may get them at local post offices or notaries.

Aug. 23 2012 03:46 PM
Mary from Oregn

Married woman gets pregnant result of rape, no medical insurance. She is unable to work for whatever reason. Husband is responsible for paying her medical expenses. how does husband feel abt that?

Aug. 23 2012 01:21 PM

There is a serious debate going on, with regard to voting laws.

Rick Hasen represents one side of that debate. Another side of the debate may be represented by Hans von Spakovsky (former FEC commissioner and election attorney/expert), law professor Brad Smith of Capital University, and John Fund of the Wall Street Journal.

But time and time again, The Takeaway chooses just one side of a debate, and supplies us with one interview guest, in the guise of fairness. (He's just a university professor, studying the issue!)

But, yeah, there is a hard-edged debate, to which The Takeaway gave no voice. How do we know about such a debate? Well, Rick Hasen (today's guest) says so:

I think it is despicable that Hasen led listners to believe that the Wisconsin state supreme court election was stolen, when in fact an investigation showed no such fraud. Prosser own that election, just like Scott Walker (union-"bashing"?) won an election, and then beat a recall election. And Ron Johnson won election, and now Tommy Thompson is poised to win an election. All big Republican statewide victories in Wisconsin, none of them fraudulent.

Aug. 23 2012 10:20 AM
carl from queens, n.y.

What we need is an ammendment change from a 4 year pres. term, with a limit of 2 terms, to a one, 6 year term [ with a possible second, 6 year term but not consecutively], paid for by ''we the people'', an not by a handful of motivated billionaires... with a one 6 term we keep our presidents nose to the grindstone for the entire 6 year term and also prevent the pres. from postponing important decisions ''till after the election''...

Aug. 23 2012 08:18 AM

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