Online Book Talk: How to Steal A Presidential Election

Ian Bassin, Lawrence Lessig, and Matt Seligman discuss possible efforts to subvert the 2024 presidential election and how we can stop them.

Online Event

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EDT

The Ash Center invites you to a book talk with Lawrence Lessig and Matt Seligman, authors of How to Steal a Presidential Election (Yale, 2024). The discussion will be moderated by Ian Bassin, co-founder and Executive Director of Protect Democracy.

About the Book

Even in the fast and loose world of the Trump White House, the idea that a couple thousand disorganized protestors storming the U.S. Capitol might actually prevent a presidential succession was far- fetched. Yet perfectly legal ways of overturning election results actually do exist, and they would allow a political party to install its own candidate in place of the true winner. Lawrence Lessig and Matthew Seligman work through every option available for subverting a presumptively legitimate result—from vice-presidential intervention to election decertification and beyond. While many strategies would never pass constitutional muster, Lessig and Seligman explain how some might. They expose correctable weaknesses in the system, including one that could be corrected only by the Supreme Court. Any strategy aimed at hacking a presidential election is a threat to democracy. This book is a clarion call to shore up the insecure system for electing the president before American democracy is forever compromised.

About the Authors

Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School and a faculty affiliate of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. Matthew Seligman is a fellow at the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School and a partner at Stris & Maher LLP.

About the Moderator

Ian Bassin is co-founder and Executive Director of Protect Democracy. He previously served as Associate White House Counsel, where in addition to counseling the President and senior White House staff on administrative and constitutional law, his responsibilities included ensuring that White House and executive branch officials complied with the laws, rules and norms that protect the fundamentally democratic nature of our government.