Cover

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Half Title, Institute Page, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Introduction

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pp. 1-4

Like Humpty Dumpty, trust in American elections can be easily damaged, but it is far more difficult to rebuild. The 2016 US presidential elections have highlighted pervasive problems in how American elections work. Secretary Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump battled through exceptionally brutal primary and general election campaigns that have polarized opinions and generated allegations of fraud, ...

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I: Challenges of Electoral Integrity during the 2016 US Elections

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pp. 5-23

The challenges to electoral integrity highlighted by the 2016 US elections are far from new.1 Several events during the campaign have highlighted long-standing vulnerabilities. Without a comprehensive program of reforms addressing these problems, in a close, heated, and bitterly fought election, ...

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II: Measuring Electoral Integrity

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pp. 24-27

All these problems suggest that the integrity of American elections is problematic. But much of the debate on this issue remains controversial. The issue of what is to blame for any lack of public trust, whether arising from the risks of insecurity at the ballot or the suppression of voters’ rights, remains mired in partisan dispute. ...

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III: Comparing Electoral Integrity within and across States

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pp. 28-45

What does this evidence suggest about the relative performance of US elections when compared with recent elections held in countries worldwide, as well as with similar post-industrial states and Western democracies? ...

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IV: What Is to Be Done?

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pp. 46-64

By all these indicators, therefore, the evidence points to a range of enduring problems in American elections. Most attempts to strengthen US elections involve piecemeal reforms, often worthwhile but technical in nature.1 These are equivalent to rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. ...

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V: Conclusions and Recommendations

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pp. 65-68

In conclusion, considerable evidence suggests that problems in the American electoral process have worsened, and piecemeal reforms won’t be enough to compensate for growing party polarization and declining public confidence, both of which have risen since 2000. Events during the 2016 campaign have deepened the fractures in public trust. ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 69-70

The study is drawn from the Electoral Integrity Project (EIP), an independent research project focused on why elections fail and what can be done about it. All details are at www.electoralintegrityproject.com. The EIP project is based at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government ...

Notes

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pp. 71-82

About the Author

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p. 83