PS: Political Science & Politics



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A Goal for Reform: Make Elections Worth Stealing


Todd  Donovan  a1
a1 Western Washington University

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Election reforms have attracted substantial attention since the troubled elections of 2000. Some address problems in the administration of elections. Others aim to regulate the conduct of elected officials and lobbyists. A third category affects the structure by which elections are conducted. It is not clear whether the same over-arching problem motivates interest in these reforms. One common theme may be that public confidence in representation suffers as a result of actual or perceived deficiencies in the conduct of elections and elected officials. The failure to count votes accurately, the fact that eligible voters find they are unable to vote, the inability of minor parties to access ballots, revelations of scandalous relations between representatives and lobbyists, the power of wealthy donors, the lack of “civility” in political discourse, the uncompetitive nature of many elections, may all somehow act together to erode public trust, and reduce participation and engagement with representative democracy.



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