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'Democracy in the States' offers a 21st century agenda for election reform in America based on lessons learned in the fifty states. Combining accessibility and rigour, leading scholars of U.S. politics and elections examine the impact of reforms intended to increase the integrity, fairness, and responsiveness of the electoral system. While some of these reforms focus on election administration, which has been the subject of much controversy since the 2000 presidential election, others seek more broadly to increase political participation and improve representation.For example, Paul Gronke (Reed College) and his colleagues study the relationship between early voting and turnout. Barry Burden (University of Wisconsin Madison) examines the hurdles that third party candidates must clear to get on the ballot in different states. Michael McDonald (George Mason University) analyzes the leading strategies for redistricting reform. And Todd Donovan (Western Washington University) focuses on how the spread of 'safe' legislative seats affects both representation and participation. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously observed that 'a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.' Nowhere is this function more essential than in the sphere of election reform, as this important book shows.
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