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(see also Electoral Reform, Revitalizing Democracy & Electronic Voting)

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In other democracies, "electoral abstentionism" is a tactic of opposition movements which view the electoral process as illegitimate; & when it affects a large proportion of the electorate it can threaten the stability of governments. In the US about half of the eligible voters refuse to participate in elections; yet the term "electoral abstentionism is seldom employed here. Why so many of us don't vote, & what would it take to induce us to do so, are vital questions for the future of American democracy.

On the Web: Articles

Faking Democracy: Americans Don't Vote, Machines Do. Lynn Landes, Counterpunch (4/6/04).

Vanishing Voters: Why Americans Don't Vote & How That Might Change. John Dean, Findlaw's Legal Commentary (11/8/00).

On the Web: Specialized Sites

Center for Voting & Democracy.

Help America Vote Act of 2002.

League of Women Voters.

Project Vote Smart.

In the Library: Articles

Crotty, William (ed.) "Maximizing voting: symposium," Policy Studies Review 9,3 (spr 90).

Cunningham, Dayna L. "Who are to be the electors? A reflection on the history of voter registration in the US," Yale Law & Policy Review 9 (1991):370-404. Struggle over voting rights has really been a disagreement over whether some citizens are more qualified than others to vote; & the resulting discrimination is still with us.

Halperin, Jason P.W. "A winner at the polls: a proposal for mandatory voter registration," NYU Journal of Legislation & Public Policy 3 (1999):69-123. Reviews reasons why voter participation continues to decline & argues that mandatory registration with an opt-out provision is constitutional & would increase turnout.

In the Library: Non-Fiction Books

Foot, Paul. The Vote: How It Was Won & How it Was Undermined (London: Penguin, 2005).

Keyssar, Alexander. The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the US (NY: Basic Books, 2000).

Kimball, Penn. The Disconnected (NY: Columbia, 1972).

Piven, Frances Fox & Richard A. Cloward. Why Americans Don't Vote (NY: Pantheon, 1988).

__________ & Richard A. Cloward. Why Americans Still Don't Vote, & Why Politicians Want it That Way (Boston: Beacon, 2000).

Teixeira, Ruy A. Why Americans Don't Vote: Turnout Decline in the US, 1960-1984 (NY: Greenwood, 1987).

In the Library: Fiction

In the Library: For Young Readers

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CD & Audio

Film & Video

Monterey Bay Educators Against War
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