Election Meltdown

Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy

"A hard-hitting critique of the American election process as timely as it is frightening. . . . Required reading for legislators and voters."-Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

From noted election law expert Rick Hasen comes a stark warning on the threats to American democracy in a time of foreign election interference and the coronavirus pandemic

"A must-read. Les mer
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"A hard-hitting critique of the American election process as timely as it is frightening. . . . Required reading for legislators and voters."-Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

From noted election law expert Rick Hasen comes a stark warning on the threats to American democracy in a time of foreign election interference and the coronavirus pandemic

"A must-read. It's well-written, easy to read, informative and fair. But it doesn't pull punches."-Mark Caputo, on Twitter


As the 2020 presidential campaign begins to take shape, there is widespread distrust of the fairness and accuracy of American elections. In this timely and accessible book, Richard L. Hasen uses riveting stories illustrating four factors increasing the mistrust. Voter suppression has escalated as a Republican tool aimed to depress turnout of likely Democratic voters, fueling suspicion. Pockets of incompetence in election administration, often in large cities controlled by Democrats, have created an opening to claims of unfairness. Old-fashioned and new-fangled dirty tricks, including foreign and domestic misinformation campaigns via social media, threaten electoral integrity. Inflammatory rhetoric about "stolen" elections supercharges distrust among hardcore partisans.

Taking into account how each of these threats has manifested in recent years-most notably in the 2016 and 2018 elections-Hasen offers concrete steps that need to be taken to restore trust in American elections before the democratic process is completely undermined. This is an indispensable analysis, from the nation's leading election-law expert, of the key threats to the 2020 American presidential election.

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