Monday, 19 May 2014

Namibia votes in November 2014
By Ferran Martinez i Coma
The Electoral Integrity Project, University of Sydney

A conference “Detecting and Deterring Electoral Fraud and Malpractices in Africa” was held in Windhoek (Namibia) from 12 to 15 May.  The event was organized by the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the Institute for Public Policy Research and it brought together a combination of Africanist scholars and practitioners. Namibians will held Presidential and Legislative elections in November. The South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) has been in power since Namibia independence in 1990, constantly increasing its advantage with its competitors.

The first session focused on concepts of fraud and malpractice. Hermann Thiel, Country Director of IFES in Jordan, building in previous works from his colleagues, gave a very clear conceptualization of fraud and malpractices. He then graphically presented a typology of the problems that may happen considering the intensity of the impact of the problem and the vulnerability. Discussants Roger Southall, from the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), and Denis Kadima, the Executive Director of EISA (South Africa) gave their respective insights. Southall described different types of fraud and he also highlighted the absence of comparative studies on gerrymandering.   

In the second session, different participants exposed clear manifestations of electoral malpractice and fraud. David Coltart, from Zimbabwe, highlighted the problems with the registry; Tom Mboya mentioned problems of voter disenfranchisement in Kenya while Professor Alexander Kaakyire Frempong from Ghana exposed the problem of registration of foreigners. There were also interventions covering Nigeria and South Africa.

The third session was on detecting the presence of fraud and malpractice. I presented the results of PEI and highlighted that problems of fraud and electoral malpractice may emerge at any point of the electoral cycle. I also emphasized the problems on finance and media while presenting the results of PEI in a regional comparative perspective. Halfdan Lynge-Mangueira, from Oxford University, presented the main question of his dissertation –namely, why did politicians in advanced democracies stopped rigging elections- and with his theoretical framework he presented his research on Ghana. Halfdan’s state of the art work mixes quantitative with qualitative analyses.

We closed the first day with a public event on electoral integrity of Africa that was open to the public. Besides the presenters, Dr. Paul Isaak, Director of Elections of the Electoral Commission of Namibia gave the keynote address on the Namibian elections. After the presentations, the audience engaged in a very lively and rich conversation with Dr. Isaak.

The second day was oriented towards improving electoral integrity. In the first session, Dr Seema Shah, currently working as an analyst at  AfriCOG (Kenya), showed us how the argument of the peaceful elections held in Kenya last year was used to silence the fraud in many stances. Shah’s uses Pippa Norris concept of electoral integrity as well as Judith Kelley’s work on monitor observation. Shah and her team have exposed numerous problems of the elections in Kenya. Her work is a beautiful application of academic concepts into real world situations.

In the second section, Ushahidi founder, Daudi Were, explained how he and his colleagues decided to create a platform to expose and improve how the elections were conducted. Ushahidi’s approach is through very simple technology that is not only been used in elections but also in humanitarian catastrophes. One of the principle of Ushahidi is making all voices count and their approach can be extremely useful for crowdsourcing studies.

The last and finals session was devoted to propose suggestions and ideas to be implemented in Namibia. The ideas proposed were divided for the short, medium and long term, since Namibians will go to vote on November 2014.

On the short term the most relevant suggestions were: make clear and public the playing field: at this point, Namibians do not know under which electoral formula will be voting; draft and publish an observation guideline to be shared with the different Namibian civil society groups; use Ushaidi’s knowledge to prepare a platform for citizens.

On the medium and the long term, the focus was on voter education as well on training of the different actors involved in the Namibian elections. 

The EIP project will follow the general and presidential elections in Namibia and next year we will be able to report about their 2014 elections. 

Further information:

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

HOUSE OF COMMONS STANDING COMMITTEE ON PROCEDURE AND HOUSE AFFAIRS
Monday 31 March 2014 7-8pm Ottowa
OPENING STATEMENT BY PIPPA NORRIS
I am honored to contribute towards the deliberations of the Canadian Parliament and I thank the committee for the invitation.
In particular, I direct the electoral integrity project based at Harvard University and the University of Sydney.  We monitor the causes and consequences of flawed and failed elections in all countries around the world.
We study major problems, such as flaws in voter registration and election management in mature democracies such as the United States, Britain and Canada as well as major problems of electoral violence, bloodshed, and instability in fragile states such as Afghanistan, Thailand and Kenya.  
STANDARDS OF ELECTORAL INTEGRITY endorsed by the international community suggest that contests should meet certain agreed principles, in particular that:
·        Electoral management bodies should be independent and impartial, with the capacity to manage contests fairly, transparently, and effectively.
·        Voting processes should be secure, honest, fair, and inclusive of all eligible electors.
·        The role of money in politics should provide a reasonably level playing field which is equitable for all parties. And,
·        Electoral laws and regulations should be subject to public consultation and careful parliamentary deliberation to foster a broad consensus among all political parties.
I think that we can all agree on these broad standards. The Fair Elections Act proposes a set of wide-ranging changes. Unfortunately, the current draft of the proposed legislation would fail to meet these international standards in four ways. In particular, it would:
1.      Diminish the effectiveness, impartiality, and independence of electoral administration;
2.      Restrict voting rights and thereby reduce electoral turnout;
3.      Expand the role of money in politics; and
4.      Produce polarization rather than a broad consensus among all political parties.
As a result, the legislation damage Canada’s international reputation as one of the world’s guardians of human rights and provide a poor example for countries elsewhere in the world. Let me explain these concerns.
DETAILED COMMENTS
The bill seeks to rewrite many major laws and regulations governing elections in Canada.  These major changes would reduce electoral integrity in four ways, as follows:
1. DIMINISH THE EFFECTIVENESS, IMPARTIALITY AND INDEPENDENCE OF ELECTORAL ADMINISTRATION
The proposed Act significantly diminishes the effectiveness of Elections Canada, a non-partisan agency, in the fair administration of elections and the independent investigation of electoral infractions by:  
·        Severely limiting the ability of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to communicate with the public, thereby preventing the CEO from encouraging voting and civic participation, and publishing research reports
·        Removing the enforcement arm of the agency, the Commissioner of Elections, from Elections Canada, and placing it in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), a government department. This weakens the Commissioner’s accountability to report to all political parties in parliament and to the general public.
·        Enabling the winning political party to recommend names for poll supervisors, thereby politicizing the electoral process and introducing the possibility or perception of partisan bias.  The risk is that politicization will reduce public trust in the electoral process and confidence in elected officials
·        Failing to provide the Commissioner with the power to compel witness testimony (a significant obstacle in a recent investigation of electoral fraud)  
Any electoral management body needs to be seen to be independent of the party in government, impartial towards all political parties, and effective in connecting with the public, including mobilizing turnout. The Act would weaken Elections Canada in all these regards, violating international norms.
2. RESTRICT VOTING RIGHTS AND TURNOUT: The proposed Act diminishes the ability of citizens to vote in elections by:
·        Prohibiting the use of vouching to establish a citizen’s eligibility to vote
·        Prohibiting the use of Voter Information Cards to establish a citizen’s identity or residency
The prohibition against vouching is ostensibly to reduce voter fraud yet there is no evidence, as affirmed by the Neufeld Report on Compliance Review, that vouching results in voter fraud. These changes to the voter eligibility rules will disproportionately impact seniors, the younger population and students, the economically disadvantaged, and First Nations citizens, leading to an estimated disenfranchisement of over 120,000 citizens.
There are more appropriate and effective ways which many countries use to prevent voter impersonation, including the provision of no cost official photo voter identification cards by the EMB, the use of provisional ballots (put into a special provisional ballot box to double check against registration records after close of polling), and stricter punishments for any transgressions, such as higher fines or imprisonment.
3. EXPAND THE ROLE OF MONEY IN POLITICS: The proposed Act does this by:
·        Exempting “fundraising expenses” from the spending limits for political parties, thereby creating a potential loophole and weakening enforcement
·        Failing to require political parties to provide supporting documentation for their expenses, even though the parties are reimbursed over $30 million after every election
·        Increasing the caps on individual donations from $1200 to $1500 per calendar year
·        Increasing the caps on candidates’ contributions to their own campaigns from $1200 to $5000 per election for candidates and $25,000 per election for leadership contestants
The danger is thereby increasing the influence of personal wealth in elections. Campaigns cost money. Alternative strategies include raising public subsidies and direct services available for all registered candidates and parties on an equitable and fair basis.
4. FAIL TO ACHIEVE A BROAD BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS
The substance of the Fair Elections Act raises significant concerns with respect to the future of electoral integrity in Canada. The process by which the proposed Act is being rushed into law in Parliament has also sparked considerable concern. The governing political party has used its majority power to enact the bill as soon as possible. By contrast, the conventional approach to reforming the electoral apparatus in many democracies has always involved widespread consultation with electoral authorities, the opposition parties and the citizens, as well as with the international community.
Electoral rules and procedures which are seen as partisan or serving the interests of any one party are likely to reduce public trust in the electoral process AND confidence in members of parliament, as well as being vulnerable to amendment following a change of the parties in government.
IN CONCLUSION, the proposed legislation should be revised so that contests in Canada continue to meet the highest international standards of electoral integrity.   I share the concerns expressed in writing by many distinguished national and international experts that the proposed Fair Elections Act threatens to:
·        undermine the integrity of the Canadian electoral process,
·        damage Canada’s international reputation as one of the world’s guardians of human rights, and
·        provide an example which would also undermine prospects for democracy to flourish in the rest of the world.

Pippa Norris
Director, the Electoral Integrity Project
Professor of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney
McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics, Harvard University

Sydney

2 April 2014

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

International concern about Canada's proposed Fair Elections Act

We, the undersigned, international scholars and political scientists, are concerned that Canada’s international reputation as one of the world’s guardians of democracy and human rights is threatened by passage of the proposed Fair Elections Act.
We believe that this Act would prove [to] be deeply damaging for electoral integrity within Canada, as well as providing an example which, if emulated elsewhere, may potentially harm international standards of electoral rights around the world.
In particular, the governing party in Canada has proposed a set of wide-ranging changes, which if enacted, would, we believe, undermine the integrity of the Canadian electoral process, diminish the effectiveness of Elections Canada, reduce voting rights, expand the role of money in politics, and foster partisan bias in election administration.
The bill seeks to rewrite many major laws and regulations governing elections in Canada. These major changes would reduce electoral integrity, as follows:
Elections Canada: The proposed Act significantly diminishes the effectiveness of Elections Canada, a non-partisan agency, in the fair administration of elections and the investigation of electoral infractions by:
· Severely limiting the ability of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to communicate with the public, thereby preventing the CEO from encouraging voting and civic participation, and publishing research reports
· Removing the enforcement arm of the agency, the Commissioner of Elections, from Elections Canada, and placing it in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), a government department
· Prohibiting the Commissioner from communicating with the public about the details of any investigation
· Preventing any details about the Commissioner’s investigations from being included in the DPP’s annual report on the Commissioner’s activities – a report that the DPP provides to the Attorney General (AG), and which the AG forwards to Parliament
· Failing to provide the Commissioner with the power to compel witness testimony (a significant obstacle in a recent investigation of electoral fraud)
Right to Vote: The proposed Act diminishes the ability of citizens to vote in elections by:
· Prohibiting the use of vouching to establish a citizen’s eligibility to vote
· Prohibiting the use of Voter Information Cards to establish a citizen’s identity or residency
The prohibition against vouching is ostensibly to reduce voter fraud yet there is no evidence, as affirmed by the Neufeld Report on Compliance Review, that vouching results in voter fraud. These changes to the voter eligibility rules will disproportionately impact seniors, students, the economically disadvantaged, and First Nations citizens, leading to an estimated disenfranchisement of over 120,000 citizens.
Money in Politics: The proposed Act expands the role of money in elections by:
· Exempting “fundraising expenses” from the spending limits for political parties, thereby creating a potential loophole and weakening enforcement
· Failing to require political parties to provide supporting documentation for their expenses, even though the parties are reimbursed over $30 million after every election
· Increasing the caps on individual donations from $1200 to $1500 per calendar year
· Increasing the caps on candidates’ contributions to their own campaigns from $1200 to $5000 per election for candidates and $25,000 per election for leadership contestants
· Creating a gap between the allowable campaign contributions of ordinary citizens and the contributions of candidates to their own campaigns, and thus increasing the influence of personal wealth in elections
Partisan Bias: The proposed Act fosters partisan bias and politicization by:
· Enabling the winning political party to recommend names for poll supervisors, thereby politicizing the electoral process and introducing the possibility of partisan bias
· By exempting “fundraising expenses” (communications with electors who have previously donated over $20 to a party) from “campaign spending,” creating a bias in favour of parties with longer lists of donors above this threshold – currently, the governing party
The substance of the Fair Elections Act raises significant concerns with respect to the future of electoral integrity in Canada. The process by which the proposed Act is being rushed into law in Parliament has also sparked considerable concern. The governing political party has used its majority power to cut off debate and discussion in an effort to enact the bill as soon as possible. By contrast, the conventional approach to reforming the electoral apparatus in Canada has always involved widespread consultation with Elections Canada, the opposition parties and the citizens at large, as well as with the international community.
In conclusion, we, the undersigned, ask that the proposed legislation should be revised so that contests in Canada continue to meet the highest international standards of electoral integrity.
Yours sincerely,
Professor Shaun Bowler, University of California, Riverside, US
Professor Brian Costar, Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia
Professor Ivor Crewe, University College, Oxford, UK
Professor Jorgen Elklit, Aarhus University, Denmark
Professor David Farrell, University College, Dublin, Ireland
Professor Andrew Geddis, University of Otago, New Zealand
Professor Lisa Hill, University of Adelaide, Australia
Professor Ronald Inglehart, University of Michigan, US
Professor Judith Kelley, Duke University, US
Professor Alexander Keyssar, Harvard University, US
Dr. Ron Levy, Australian National University, Australia
Professor Richard Matland, University of Illinois, US
Professor Dan Meagher, Deakin University, Australia
Dr. Jenni Newton-Farrelly, Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia
Professor Pippa Norris, Harvard and Sydney Universities, US/Australia
Professor Graeme Orr, University of Queensland, Australia
Professor Andrew Reynolds, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, US
Professor Ken Sherrill, Hunter College, City University of New York, US

Professor Daniel Tokaji, The Ohio State University, US

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Why is the quality of US elections ranked 26th out of 73 contests worldwide?

Pippa Norris

New evidence from the Perceptions of Electoral Integrity (PEI) index highlights the quality of elections. The expert survey provides a standardized way to compare 73 elections held around the globe from 1 July 2012 to 31 December 2013. One of the most striking observations is another example of American exceptionalism - unlike most Western democracies, the United States ranked exceptionally poorly - 26th worldwide, similar to countries such as Mexico and Mongolia. By contrast, countries such as Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria were all ranked in the top ten.

What explains this rating? The results suggest that the United States suffers from several fundamental flaws of electoral governance and voting administration, and a complex series of partial policy reforms which have sought to address concern. Problems in electoral administration were exemplified most dramatically by Bush v. Gore in Florida in 2000; since then several new initiatives, notably the 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA), have sought to ensure that every eligible citizen can register and that every vote will be counted accurately.[i] Yet many deep-rooted structural problems have not been tackled, indeed some have probably worsened since Florida as issues of electoral rights and voter fraud have become increasingly partisan, litigious, and contentious during the last decade.[ii]

Estimates about the quality of the 2012 US election are illustrated in Figure 1, showing the evaluations provided by experts in the Perceptions of Electoral Integrity survey. For comparison, the figure also includes estimates for the Netherlands, selected as another long-established democracy but one with a far more positive rating. As the radar-gram shows, across nearly all dimensions, the United States consistently scores less well than the Netherlands, with the exception of media coverage and party and candidate registration. The evaluations of the Unites States is particularly critical in terms of electoral laws, redistricting, and voter registration procedures, all reflecting contemporary controversies and partisan divides in American politics.  Campaign finance regulations were another weak area, although here the gap between the countries was less marked. 
Source: Electoral Integrity Project. 2013. the expert survey or perceptions of electoral integrity, PEI2. www.electoralintegrityproject.com

What has contributed towards this performance? Most democracies have established an independent national election management body, accountable to the legislature, with primary responsibility for registering citizens and managing the electoral process.[iii]   In America, however, electoral administration remains highly decentralized, fragmented, partisan, and often under-resourced. The Federal Election Commission’s role is limited to making campaign finance contributions and spending more transparent, and in this regard they do a fine job, although transparency per se does not necessarily lead to greater accountability. The Electoral Assistance Commission was created under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in 2002 as a new federal agency tasked with overseeing and monitoring certain minimum standards of electoral administration, but primary responsibility for conducting elections is specified in the US constitution as a state-level responsibility.[iv] The 2000 Florida contest in Gore v. Bush spurred changes in voting technologies and voter registration laws, but the effectiveness of these developments has been patchy. Little attention has been paid to the ground troops manning the local polling places, although the quality of American elections rests ultimately in the hands of partisan local officials, “frequently ill-equipped, poorly trained, part-time administrators”, and paid day-volunteer poll workers.[v] 

U.S. citizens are required to mail their registration form to counties, cities and townships, in most places usually well ahead of polling day. One in four eligible electors — at least 51 million Americans—fail to do so.  Complex rules and deadlines for registering vary across states, as do facilities for early and absentee voting.[vi] Despite the e-governance revolution, citizens resident in the United States continue to submit hand-written registration forms, vulnerable to problems of legibility, missing information and processing errors.[vii] Party activists and voluntary organizations handle, collect and submit bundles of forms, as do officials of the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The official forms also collect information on party affiliations, released as part of the public record, a potential violation of basic rights to confidentiality. The Pew Center estimates that about 24 million names on the electoral register are invalid or inaccurate.[viii] This includes about 1.8 million dead and some 2.8 million who have duplicate registrations in more than one state.  The Pew report suggests that about 12 million registrations have errors serious enough to make it unlikely that citizens can be contacted by mail. In addition, some 3.3 million Americans with felony convictions remain disenfranchised, in some states for life, due to prohibitive legal regulations or burdensome procedures for reinstating voting rights.[ix]  Another 4.1 million citizens resident in US territories such as the US Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico are ineligible to vote in presidential elections.

Far from making citizen participation easier, during the last decade many American states have passed laws requiring voters to show photo identification at polls, cutting back early voting periods, or imposing new restrictions on voter registration drives. In mid-2012, legislation of voter ID requirements is pending in around two thirds of all US states, including new voter ID proposals in fourteen states, proposals to strengthen existing voter ID laws in ten states, and bills in nine states to amend the new voter ID laws passed in 2011.[x] It is estimated that the effect of implementing these requirements in several key states depressed turnout in the Obama v. Romney contests by around one to two percent.[xi]  Republican legislators claim that the new rules preserve the integrity of the ballot box. Democrats argue that the changes discourage turnout, especially among minorities and young people. Overall the immense hoopla about potential fraud in U.S. elections seems largely manufactured rhetoric; a study analyzing criminal cases and prosecution statistics from 2000-2005 concluded that, according to this evidence, actual cases of election fraud explicitly intended to affect the outcome of a federal election are almost nonexistent.[xii] Another detailed account arrived at similar findings: although millions of Americans cast ballots, almost no one knowingly and willfully casts an illegal vote today, so that voter fraud is a ‘politically constructed myth’.[xiii] Where restrictive voter identification requirements generate a systematic suppression of disproportionately Democratic voters, including the poor, African American and Hispanics, then this also goes beyond maladministration to raise fundamental questions about the violation of human rights.

The problems of maladministration at the ballot box are substantial; however they pale into insignificance compared with challenges caused by the pervasive role of money in American politics.  Spending is unlimited during the long campaign; in the 2008 Obama v. McCain campaign, for example, over $1.7 billion dollars was raised by all the presidential candidates, a ten-fold increase since Carter v. Ford in 1976.[xiv] The 2012 electoral cycle is estimated to have cost more than $6 billion in total, the most expensive elections yet.[xv] The total costs during presidential electoral cycles has risen steadily from 2000 to 2012 by around one billion per cycle, far more than the cumulative rate of inflation. [xvi]  Financial donations to candidates and parties are monitored and regulated by the Federal Election Commission. Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United vs. FEC in January 2010, however, individuals, corporations and unions can make unlimited donations to independent super PACs supporting particular candidates. Citizens United has reinforced concerns about fairness and equity although in the United States, unrestricted campaign spending is equated with the right to free speech and others defend unlimited contributions. [xvii] Spending by outside groups aligned in support of a specific presidential candidate is estimated to have more than doubled during the 2012 primary and pre-convention period, compared with the equivalent months during the previous presidential contest.[xviii] Inequalities in financial resources can reinforce, in turn, imbalanced media coverage, both through the capacity to purchase paid TV spots and also through reporters’ assessments of candidate credibility during the early stages of primary races.[xix] There are also many residual issues which recur concerning the accuracy and security of the final vote counting process, due to voting machines. State laws governing candidate ballot access are also usually highly restrictive for third party challengers, while the manufactured majority in the Electoral College used in presidential contests penalizes third parties which fail to gain a popular plurality of the vote in every state.[xx] 

Partisan gerrymandering by state legislatures is the norm for redistricting, reducing the number of competitive districts, in contrast to many other democracies which use more impartial judicial or independent electoral or boundary commissions.[xxi] The consequences of partisan gerrymandering have caused concern because of the potential consequences of this policy in exacerbating polarized partisan politics. In particular, during the October 2013 budget stalemate in Congress, a relatively small number of members of the House of Representatives proved intransigent by shutting down the federal government and budget negotiations for three weeks in an abortive attempt to de-fund the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).[xxii]  Although ultimately defeated, the effort proved highly damaging for confidence in the American economy and for the U.S.’s international credit rating. One factor contributing towards the rise of Tea Party members has been partisan gerrymandering, allowing Republican-dominated states to draw ultra-safe boundaries which safeguard conservative members and which thereby weaken the electoral incentives for representatives to make broader appeals likely to win support across a broader and more diverse range of constituents.[xxiii] Gerrymandered house districts are not necessarily a fundamental cause for the rise of the Tea Party, which reflects the success of the radical right parties and discontent with more centrist parties found in many other established democracies, but partisan redistricting can be a facilitating condition, by limiting the traditionally moderating effects of majoritarian electoral systems.

In short, American elections continue to face major challenges when administering accurate and fair voter registration and vote counting processes, as well as facing broader structural problems concerning the regulation of campaign funding, ballot access, and redistricting. The Presidential Commission on Electoral Administration, appointed by President Obama in May 2013, was established to examine bipartisan ways to shorten lines at polling places, promote the efficient conduct of elections, and provide better access to the polls for all voters. [xxiv] But the Commission is not designed to address the more deep-rooted and enduring challenges to American electoral integrity.





[i] R. Michael Alvarez, Lonna Rae Atkeson and Thad Hall. 2012. Evaluating Elections: A Handbook of Methods and Standards. New York: Cambridge University Press.
[ii] Richard L. Hasen, 2012. The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown. New Haven: Yale University Press.
[iii] Louis Massicotte, Andre Blais and Antoine Yoshinaka. 2004. Establishing the Rules of the Game. Toronto: University of Toronto Press; Alan Wall, et al. 2006. Electoral Management Design: The International IDEA Handbook. Sweden: International IDEA.
[iv] Electoral Assistance Commission  http://www.eac.gov/
[v] R. Michael Alvarez and Thad E. Hall. 2006. ‘Controlling democracy: the principal–agent problems in election administration.’ The Policy Studies Journal 34(4):  491-510; Thad E. Hall, J. Quin Monson and Kelly D. Patterson. 2009. ‘The human dimension of elections: How poll workers shape public confidence in elections.’ Political Research Quarterly 62(3):507-522.
[vi] See Chapter 2 in Brian L. Fife. 2010. Reforming the Electoral Process in America. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.
[viii] Pew Center on the States. 2012. Inaccurate, Costly, and Inefficient. http://www.pewstates.org/research/reports/inaccurate-costly-and-inefficient-85899378437
[ix] Michael P. McDonald. ‘2010 general election turnout rates’ available at http://elections.gmu.edu/Turnout_2010G.html.  See Table 2.6 in Brian L. Fife. 2010. Reforming the Electoral Process in America. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger. For a discussion, see Michael P. McDonald and Samuel Popkin. 2001. ‘The Myth of the Vanishing Voter.’ American Political Science Review 95(4): 963-974. Higher estimates (5.3 million) are provided by the Sentencing Project http://www.sentencingproject.org/template/page.cfm?id=133;
[xi] Nate Silver. July 15 2012. ‘Measuring the effects of Voter Identification Laws.’ New York Times.
[xii] Delia Bailey. ‘Federal election fraud cases.’ In R. Michael Alvarez, Thad E. Hall and Susan Hyde. Eds. 2008. Election fraud: detecting and deterring electoral manipulation. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute. For an alternative view see, however, John H. Fund. 2004. Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy. San Francisco, CA: Encounter Books.
[xiii] Lorraine Carol Minnite. 2010. The Myth of Voter Fraud. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
[xiv] See Table 5.1 in Brian L. Fife. 2010. Reforming the Electoral Process in America. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.   
[xv] The Center for Responsive Politics. http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/index.php  
[xvi] If the estimated total costs of the 2000 electoral cycle are calculated in constant prices, taking account of the cumulative rate of inflation (33.3%) from 2000-2012, the equivalent total cost of the 2012 electoral cycle would have been $4,109bn, not $6,285bn. http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/
[xvii] Robert G. Boatright. 2012. ‘The end of the reform era? Campaign finance retrenchment in the United States and Canada.’ The Forum 10(2): 1-30; Glenn Hubbard and Tim Kane. 2013. ‘In defense of Citizens United: Why campaign finance reform threatens American democracy.’ Foreign Affairs 92(4): 126-133.
[xviii] The Center for Responsive Politics. http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/superpacs.php
[xix] For a discussion about the broader consequences for American politics, see Lawrence Lessig. 2011. Republic, Lost. New York: Twelve.
[xx] Steven J. Rosenstone, Roy L. Behr and Edward Lazarus. 1996. Third Parties in America: Citizen Response to Major Party Failure. 2nd ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press; Donald J. Green. 2010. Third Party Matters: Politics, Presidents and Third Parties in American History. New York: Praeger.
[xxi] David Butler and Bruce E. Cain. 1992. Congressional Redistricting: Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives. New York: Macmillan; Michael P. McDonald. 2008.  ‘United States redistricting.’ In Redistricting in Comparative Perspective Eds. Lisa Handley and Bernard Grofman. New York: Oxford University Press.
[xxii] The New York Times estimated that around 42 members of the House of Representatives were affiliated with the Tea Party Caucus, although another 38 members supported tying the budget to attempts to defund the Affordable Care Act. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/10/20/us/politics/the-factions-in-the-house.html?hp
[xxiii] Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson.  2013. The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism. New York: Oxford University Press.
[xxiv] The US Presidential Commission on Electoral Administration. http://www.supportthevoter.gov/