"Election Meltdown" with Author Richard Hasen


Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 12:00pm to 1:15pm

This event concluded on March 25, 2020. View the original description and event recording below.

The Ash Center invites you to a virtual book talk with with Richard Hasen, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine -- and author of "Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy." Ash Center Democracy Fellow Tova Wang will moderate. 

Written before the current coronavirus pandemic, Election Meltdown, has taken on an even deeper meaning. Hasen will talk about the major new challenges the virus is creating for the elections of 2020 and what election officials can do, all on top of the significant issues revealed in the 2016 and 2018 elections. These include efforts at voter suppression, incompetence in administration, and of course the vulnerability of US election systems to foreign interventions of misinformation and cyberattacks. All of these affect the critical issue of Americans having trust in our democratic system, and Hasen has a wide and deep knowledge to bring to this discussion.

This event is part of the Democracy and Justice During Pandemic virtual series.

Event Video Recording

About the Book         

Election Meltdown Book CoverAs the 2020 presidential campaign begins to take shape, there is widespread distrust of the fairness and accuracy of American elections. In this timely and accessible book, Richard L. Hasen uses riveting stories illustrating four factors increasing the mistrust. Voter suppression has escalated as a Republican tool aimed to depress turnout of likely Democratic voters, fueling suspicion. Pockets of incompetence in election administration, often in large cities controlled by Democrats, have created an opening to claims of unfairness. Old-fashioned and new-fangled dirty tricks, including foreign and domestic misinformation campaigns via social media, threaten electoral integrity. Inflammatory rhetoric about “stolen” elections supercharges distrust among hardcore partisans.
Taking into account how each of these threats has manifested in recent years—most notably in the 2016 and 2018 elections—Hasen offers concrete steps that need to be taken to restore trust in American elections before the democratic process is completely undermined.

About the Author    

Richard L. Hasen is Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine. In 2013 he was named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America by the National Law Journal, and his previous books include Voting Wars, Plutocrats United, and The Justice of Contradictions. He lives in Studio City, CA.