Why Vote?: Essential Questions About the Future of Elections in America

1st Edition

Daniel M. Shea

Routledge
Published March 13, 2019
Textbook - 258 Pages
ISBN 9781138617926 - CAT# K389862

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Summary

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.

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