In recent years, American elections have been marked by reports of voter suppression, problems with election administration, misinformation campaigns and inflammatory rhetoric-- all of which pose a threat to civilian trust in fair elections.
In his new book, “Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy”, election law expert Richard L. Hansen addresses the contemporary and historical perils posed to elections in the U.S. He focuses specifically on how a progressive loss of trust in the electoral process, particularly in the 2016 and 2018 elections, could undermine democracy entirely for future elections. However, Hansen is also concerned with how recent election failures can inform a way forward that is just and democratic. He proposes short-term solutions, like public protests and deference to the courts, as options for ensuring democratic process. He also considers how trusted, old-guard bipartisan leaders (his examples: Colin Powell or Madeline Albright) could step into the spotlight and assure the public of fair election results. But Hansen sees the most potential in longer term solutions, which could include measures to fight voter suppression, fix election administration and combat rhetoric around “rigged” elections that fundamentally destabilize citizens’ trust in the process.
Today on AirTalk, we discuss the state of American elections and the steps the United States should adopt to ensure that fair elections prevail. We want to hear from you. Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722
Rick Hasen will talk about his new book, “Election Meltdown” on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 7:30pm at the Hammer Museum in Westwood. The event is free and open to the public.
Also, he’ll be at the Hammer Museum in Westwood on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 7:30pm. Both events are free and open to the public.
Richard L. Hasen, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine and author of the new book “Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy” (Yale University Press, 2020)