America Votes

With 10 days to Election Day 2012, Brooklyn Law School Associate Librarian Linda Holmes has assembled in the display case on the first floor of the library an interesting collection of campaign buttons. The historic ones date back to Alf Landon, Wendell Willkie, and Dwight Eisenhower. More recent ones are for women candidates for national office, Geraldine Ferraro, Hillary Clinton, and Sarah Palin.
The display case also has several titles from the BLS Library collection including Voting in America by Morgan E. Felchner (Call # JK1976 .V69 2008) This three volume set is a comprehensive account by a group of academics, including political science and law professors, pollsters, and journalists who take a wide-ranging look at all aspects of voting in America. Chapters cover a wide range of topics such as the Electoral College, prisoner disenfranchisement, obstacles and options for American voters abroad, the rise of ballot initiatives, the elusive youth vote, the battle for the swing vote, local issues trends, Wisconsin voter fraud, waiting in line in Ohio, provisional ballots, and partisanship in voting companies.

The display also includes The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown by noted University of California Professor of Law and Political Science Richard L. Hasen (Call # KF4886 .H39 2012). The book examines the partisan war over election rules that followed the US Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore where election litigation has risen with accusations by political partisans of voter fraud and voter suppression. The effect has been a decline in public confidence in the electoral process as campaigns deploy “armies of lawyers” and the partisan press joins in. The book looks at future election disputes which are likely to be more acrimonious, more distorted by unsubstantiated allegations, and amplified by social media. Hasen argues that election reform is an urgent priority for both citizens and elected officials.