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Welcome to the Polk State College library guide for elections/electoral college research topics. Below you will find suggested books/ebooks and recommended databases. If you need help, click the link for Ask a Librarian.
Voter Suppression in U. S. Elections by
Publication Date: 2020-06-30
Historians have long been engaged in telling the story of the struggle for the vote. In the wake of recent contested elections, the suppression of the vote has returned to the headlines, as awareness of the deep structural barriers to the ballot, particularly for poor, black, and Latino voters, has called attention to the historical roots of issues related to voting access. Perhaps most notably, former state legislator Stacey Abrams's campaign for Georgia's gubernatorial race drew national attention after she narrowly lost to then-secretary of state Brian Kemp, who had removed hundreds of thousands of voters from the official rolls. After her loss, Abrams created Fair Fight, a multimillion-dollar initiative to combat voter suppression in twenty states. At an annual conference of the Organization of American Historians, leading scholars Carol Anderson, Kevin M. Kruse, Heather Cox Richardson, and Heather Anne Thompson had a conversation with Abrams about the long history of voter suppression at the Library Company of Philadelphia. This book is a transcript of that extraordinary conversation, edited by Jim Downs. Voter Suppression in U.S. Elections offers an enlightening, history-informed conversation about voter disenfranchisement in the United States. By gathering scholars and activists whose work has provided sharp analyses of this issue, we see how historians in general explore contentious topics and provide historical context for students and the broader public. The book also includes a "top ten" selection of essays and articles by such writers as journalist Ari Berman, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Blight, and civil rights icon John Lewis.
Descriptive Elections by
Publication Date: 2018-08-31
Elections are in trouble with general low levels of interest and turnout; Jeanette Morehouse Mendez and Rebekah Herrick suggest that if candidates looked more like America does, these problems would decrease. They call these elections where candidates differ in key social demographic traits descriptive elections. They predict that races that have candidates of different race and/or gender will see higher voter turnout out, because voters will be more interested in these races and will have less alienation and indifference. In addition, they predict that voters' stereotypes/gender preferences, as well as elite behavior, can contribute to greater voter engagement. They also predict that campaigns in these elections will discuss a wider variety of issues, and the media will do likewise. They test their expectations by examining the gender mix of candidates in gubernatorial, congressional, and state legislative races. The results suggest that voters in mixed-gender and women-only elections have less alienation, less indifference, and greater interest. They also are more likely to vote. The results offer more modest evidence that campaigns and media coverage differ in these races. Thus the authors conclude that voters' gender stereotypes and preferences have a larger effect on voters' engagements in descriptive elections.
Parties and Elections in America by
Publication Date: 2015-10-16
This classic text provides an in-depth examination and history of American political parties and their critical role in representative democracy at the local, state, and national levels. Focused on the continued evolution and significance of parties in the American political system, separate chapters are devoted to key topics such as the impact of social media in the electoral process, and recent developments in campaign finance. The seventh edition fully incorporates the results of the 2012 presidential election and the 2014 midterm elections, as well as the impact of the Tea Party within the Republican party and important demographic shifts in the American electorate.
Why American Elections Are Flawed (and How to Fix Them) by
Publication Date: 2017-04-04
The flaws in the American electoral process have become increasingly apparent in recent years. The contemporary tipping point in public awareness occurred during the 2000 election count, and concern deepened due to several major problems observed in the 2016 campaign, worsening party polarization, and corroding public trust in the legitimacy of the outcome.To gather evidence about the quality of elections around the world, in 2012 the Electoral Integrity Project (EIP) was established as an independent research project based at Harvard and Sydney universities. The results show that experts rated American elections as the worst among all Western democracies. Without reform, these problems risk damaging the legitimacy of American elections--further weakening public confidence in political parties, Congress, and the U.S. government, depressing voter turnout, and exacerbating the risks of mass protests.Why American Elections Are Flawed describes several major challenges observed during the 2016 U.S. elections arising from deepening party polarization over basic voting procedures, the serious risks of hacking and weak cyber-security, the consequences of deregulating campaign spending, and lack of professional and impartial electoral management. Pippa Norris outlines the core concept and measure of electoral integrity, the key yardstick used to evaluate free and fair elections. Evidence from expert and mass surveys demonstrate the extent of problems in American elections. She shows how these challenges could be addressed through several practical steps designed to improve electoral procedures and practices. If implemented, the reforms will advance free and fair elections, and liberal democracy, at home and abroad.
Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College? by
Publication Date: 2020-07-31
A New Statesman Book of the Year With every presidential election, Americans puzzle over the peculiar mechanism of the Electoral College. The author of the Pulitzer finalist The Right to Vote explains the enduring problem of this controversial institution. Every four years, millions of Americans wonder why they choose their presidents through the Electoral College, an arcane institution that permits the loser of the popular vote to become president and narrows campaigns to swing states. Most Americans have long preferred a national popular vote, and Congress has attempted on many occasions to alter or scuttle the Electoral College. Several of these efforts--one as recently as 1970--came very close to winning approval. Yet this controversial system remains. Alexander Keyssar explains its persistence. After tracing the Electoral College's tangled origins at the Constitutional Convention, he explores the efforts from 1800 to 2020 to abolish or significantly reform it, showing why each has failed. Reasons include the complexity of the electoral system's design, the tendency of political parties to elevate partisan advantage above democratic values, the difficulty of passing constitutional amendments, and, importantly, the South's prolonged backing of the Electoral College, grounded in its desire to preserve white supremacy in the region. The commonly voiced explanation that small states have blocked reform for fear of losing influence proves to have been true only occasionally. Keyssar examines why reform of the Electoral College has received so little attention from Congress for the last forty years, and considers alternatives to congressional action such as the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact and state efforts to eliminate winner-take-all. In analyzing the reasons for past failures while showing how close the nation has come to abolishing the institution, Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College? offers encouragement to those hoping to produce change in the twenty-first century.
Interference in Elections by
Publication Date: 2018-12-30
Allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election have brought the issue of election interference to the fore, but is it actually a significant issue in the United States? This volume explores the history of election interference in the United States and beyond, as well as the various methods of interference. It also discusses whether interference can be effectively combatted and what attempts are being made to do so. Election interference has been declared a threat to the electoral process and democracy as a whole, and it is more important than ever to understand the various factors at play.
Parties and Elections in America by
Publication Date: 2020-03-17
This classic text provides an in-depth examination and history of American political parties and their critical role in representative democracy at the local, state, and national levels.
Why Vote? by
Publication Date: 2019-02-25
For nearly 200 years, Americans have pinned the democratic character of their system on elections. In many ways, we have become an election-crazed nation, ever-hoping that the next grand contest or the next great candidate will save the day. But tectonic shifts abound - changes that are distorting the nature of the process. From the rise of fear-centered partisanship, new limits on voter access to the polls, the omnipotence of social media, declining standards of objectivity, Russian interference, the reemergence of the partisan press, the growing weight of elites and more, elections - our "grand democratic feasts" - are transforming before our eyes. We've reached a precarious intersection, and it is no stretch to say the future of the republic is at stake. Written by one of the nation's leading parties and elections scholars, Why Vote? Essential Questions About the Future of Elections in America explores a range of topics. Each chapter is set by a guiding question, and concludes with a novel, often surprising argument. Who or what is to blame for the rise of rabid, hate-centered polarization? Can a third party really save our system? Should we even try to limit money in campaigns? Do elections stifle other, more potent forms of engagement? Who's to blame for the growing number of voter access restrictions? Might attitudes toward immigration and race form a "unified theory" of voter coalitions? This lively, accessible book is sure to inspire robust discussion and debate. The election process in the United States is coming apart at the seams, and Why Vote?tees up a new way of thinking about the future. This book will be of particular interest to students and scholars of US politics and elections, and to general interest readers. estion, and concludes with a novel, often surprising argument. Who or what is to blame for the rise of rabid, hate-centered polarization? Can a third party really save our system? Should we even try to limit money in campaigns? Do elections stifle other, more potent forms of engagement? Who's to blame for the growing number of voter access restrictions? Might attitudes toward immigration and race form a "unified theory" of voter coalitions? This lively, accessible book is sure to inspire robust discussion and debate. The election process in the United States is coming apart at the seams, and Why Vote?tees up a new way of thinking about the future. This book will be of particular interest to students and scholars of US politics and elections, and to general interest readers.
Academic Search Complete This link opens in a new window
Academic Search Complete, designed specifically for academic institutions, is the world's most valuable and comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 5,300 full-text periodicals, including 4,400 peer-reviewed journals. In addition to full text, this database offers indexing and abstracts for more than 9,300 journals and a total of 10,900 publications including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc. The database features PDF content going back as far as 1865, with the majority of full text titles in native (searchable) PDF format.
America's News This link opens in a new window
With unmatched U.S. news content from local, regional, and national sources, this resource is the largest of its kind. Its diverse source types include printed and online newspapers, blogs, journals, newswires, broadcast transcripts and videos. Explore a specific issue or event through the detailed coverage provided by local reporting or compare a wide variety of viewpoints from across the country on topics such as politics, business, health, sports, cultural activities and people.
Nexis Uni This link opens in a new window
Nexis Uni features more than 15,000 news, business, and legal sources, including U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1790.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context This link opens in a new window
The premier online resource covering todays hottest social issues, from capital punishment to immigration, to marijuana. This cross-curricular research tool supports science, social studies, current events, and language arts classes. Its informed differing views present each side of an issue, allowing you to draw your own valid conclusions.
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