• The Racist Origins of Georgia's Runoff System

    by Steven F. Lawson

    Runoff elections were installed in Georgia to ensure that Black voters could not elect their preferred candidates, allowing white voters a second chance to consolidate support around white candidates. 

  • "Independent State Legislature" Legal Theory Based in Fake History

    Charles Pinckney's ideas for the Constitution were rejected by the framers. Years later, he produced fake documents to aggrandize his own role at the convention. Right-wing legal activists have used them to argue that state legislatures can decide election results however they want. 

  • Alex Keyssar on the Need to Reform the Electoral Count Act

    The Electoral Count Act imposed after the contested election of 1876 leaves potential loopholes for a minority faction to override the will of voters and hijack the electoral college. Is proposed bipartisan legislation enough to fix it? 

  • Irwin Gellman Asks: Did JFK Steal Victory in the "Campaign of the Century"?

    by Justin P. Coffey

    Irwin Gellman's latest volume in his political history of Nixon argues the 1960 election returns in Illinois and Texas were rigged for Kennedy. A reviewer finds the case is intriguing but falls short of solid proof, though it does resonate with charges of stolen elections and media favoritism that are all too familiar today. 

  • Of Course the Federal Government Can Regulate Elections

    by Heather Cox Richardson

    The Constitution not only enables, but requires the federal government to act when state authority violates the principles of democracy, something President Harry Truman realized in 1946.

  • Gaming Elections is a Conservative Political Tradition

    by John S. Huntington

    "Conservatives have spent generations attempting to exploit arcane and anti-democratic electoral structures to carve a pathway for minoritarian rule."

  • Too Often, Politicians Pick Their Voters

    by Warren E. Milteer Jr.

    Political factions and then organized parties have fought over the size, composition and geographical ordering of the electorate since the founding. This legacy today undermines the legitimacy of government and the political will to protect the right to vote. 

  • The Wondrous Banality of Democracy

    by John Witt

    A professor of law and legal history volunteered as a ballot counting observer in Pennsylvania and offers a reflection on the unspectacular nature of democracy in action. 

  • Elections Don’t Have to Be So Chaotic and Excruciating

    by Stephen I. Vladeck

    A uniform procedure for publicizing the vote count can eliminate the chaos of haphazard vote counts and remove the opportunity for candidates to portray the normal process of counting votes as irregular or crooked.