The 2012 election will be one of the hardest-fought in U.S. history. It is also likely to be one of the closest, a fact that brings concerns about voter fraud and bureaucratic incompetence in the conduct of elections front and center. Unless citizens take notice, they could see another debacle like the Bush-Gore Florida recount of 2000 in which courts and lawyers intervened in what should have involved only voters.
Who's Counting? focuses attention on many of the problems of our election system, ranging from voter fraud to a slipshod system of vote counting that noted political scientist Walter Dean Burnham calls “the most careless of the developed world.” In an effort to clean up our election laws, reduce fraud, and increase public confidence in the integrity of the voting system, many states – ranging from Georgia to Wisconsin – have enacted laws requiring a photo ID be shown at the polls and curbing the rampant use of absentee ballots, a tool of choice by fraudsters.
While Americans frequently demand observers and best practices in the elections of other countries, they are often blind to the need to scrutinize our own elections. The consequences of a close election in 2012 may lead to pitched partisan battles and court fights that could dwarf the Bush-Gore recount wars.
More About the Speakers
National Affairs Columnist, National Review Online
Hans von Spakovsky
Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
Edwin Meese III
Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus