Deliver the Vote (Hardcover)

A History of Election Fraud, an American Political Tradition-1742-2004

By Tracy Campbell

Basic Books, 9780786715916, 448pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2005



If elections are the lifeblood of a democracy, then we have an ailing body politic. From ballot stuffing and intimidating voters, to buying votes, suppressing turnout and manipulating returns, Deliver the Vote is an intensive examination into the hidden interiors of American politics that casts a provocative new light on how power in America is often obtained. Drawing on hundreds of elections from the colonial era to the 2004 election, historian Tracy Campbell reveals how a long-standing culture of corruption is alive and well in local, state, and national elections. Among those whose stories are central to this book are Boss Tweed, William Randolph Hearst, Huey Long, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and Jimmy Carter, as well as countless local and state politicians of every stripe. Combining social and political history in a vivid narrative, Deliver the Vote reveals how fraud has been a persistent and corrosive presence in American history, and is not confined to one party, location, or time period. Campbell explores every major reform to cleanse fraud and corruption—paper ballots, the secret ballot, or voting machines—and explains how they have only changed the way the game is played, sadly showing how American elections have never been in order.

About the Author

Tracy Campbell is the author of THE POLITICS OF DESPAIR: POWER AND RESISTANCE IN THE TOBACCO WARS; and SHORT OF THE GLORY: THE FALL AND REDEMPTION OF EDWARD F. PRITCHARD, JR., which tells the story of a brilliant politician's demise due to ballot box stuffing. SHORT OF THE GLORY was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and was featured on NPR's "Morning Edition" program. Campbell is Associate Professor of History and Co-Director of the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center at the University of Kentucky.