Behind the Ballot Box: A Citizen's Guide to Voting Systems

Behind the Ballot Box: A Citizen's Guide to Voting Systems

Behind the Ballot Box: A Citizen's Guide to Voting Systems

Behind the Ballot Box: A Citizen's Guide to Voting Systems

Synopsis

Amy provides readers with all the relevant information needed to analyze and to choose from various voting system options. He brings together information and analysis about the full range of voting systems. The book is "one-stop-shopping" for those interested in learning more about voting systems and how to choose among them.

Excerpt

For almost a decade, I have been intrigued by voting systems—those seemingly innocuous election rules that turn out to have such wide-ranging political impacts. Until a few years ago, it was an obsession that I seemed to share only with some other political scientists and a handful of election reform advocates. But these days there is a burgeoning interest in voting systems and voting system reform in the United States, and that is why I wrote this book. I saw that as more politicians, election officials, activists, and citizens began to consider the issue of voting system reform, they were having trouble finding all the material they needed to make an informed and thoughtful choice among these systems. There was no one book that covered the entire range of available voting systems, described how they work, and discussed their political advantages and disadvantages. This book is intended to fill that gap.

When I was considering how to organize this book, one other book immediately came to mind: The International idea Handbook of Electoral Design by Andrew Reynolds and Ben Reilly. This excellent work discusses the criteria for designing election systems, describes a variety of voting systems, and explains their political consequences. It is intended primarily for an international audience, particularly emerging democracies. It occurred to me that a similar approach, aimed this time at an American audience, would be an effective way to present this material, and so I borrowed liberally from their work in developing the overall organization of this book.

Another book that informed the approach I took to this topic was Smart Choices: a Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions by John Hammond, Ralph Keeney, and Howard Raifa. It helped me to think about how to organize the steps involved in analyzing and choosing a good voting system. It also gave me the idea for including in the last chapter a section on the common pitfalls associated with choosing voting systems. I found two other books to be extremely useful sources of information about voting systems

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.