"Ballot Battles: A History of Disputed Elections in the U.S."

Jan 11, 2016

Our guest on ST is Edward B. Foley, the Ebersold Chair in Law and Director of Election Law at the Ohio State University School of Law. Professor Foley tells us about his interesting new book, just out from Oxford University Press: "Ballot Battles: A History of Disputed Elections in the U.S." As was noted of this title by Tamara Keith, a correspondent for NPR News: "It's hard not to feel outrage and a little dread reading Edward Foley's retelling of ballot battles dating back to the nation's Founding. That's because, as Foley argues beautifully, American democracy lacks a fair, unbiased, non-partisan way to resolve contested elections. What will happen next time an election's outcome is in limbo? 'Ballot Battles' makes a compelling argument that it could well be messy." And further, from James McPherson, Professor of American History (Emeritus) at Princeton University: "The vitality of democracy depends on honest elections and a fair count of the ballots. Yet as Edward Foley demonstrates in this eye-opening study, many close elections at all levels of American government since 1792 have resulted in contested outcomes that violated one or both of these requirements."