GUEST WRITER: Proposals for Reforming the American Electoral System After the 2000 Presidential Election: Universal Voter Registration, Mandatory Voting, and Negative Balloting Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2002 Hamline Journal of Public Law & Policy 
Hamline Journal of Public Law & Policy

GUEST WRITER: Proposals for Reforming the American Electoral System After the 2000 Presidential Election: Universal Voter Registration, Mandatory Voting, and Negative Balloting

Spring, 2002

23 Hamline J. Pub. L. & Pol'y 255

Author

Christopher W. Carmichael*

Excerpt

Introduction
 
In the 2000 Presidential election the American people officially lost the ability to cast a meaningful ballot because the United States Supreme Court mistakenly ruled that expedience, rather than accuracy determines the effectiveness of the right to vote. 2 Rather than count all the legally cast votes in Florida and accurately determine who won the Presidential race, the United States Supreme Court effectively certified George W. Bush the winner of the 2000 Presidential election. 3 According to the Court, there was simply not enough time to count all the votes in Florida. 4 For the over fifty percent of eligible American voters who do not vote, this result only adds to their reasons not to vote. For Americans who do not vote, or fail to vote because they have "a lower level of trust in our leadership than at any time [in American history]," 5 Bush v. Gore further destroyed that trust by holding that the United States of America need not count votes cast by eligible citizens because expediency overrides the right to vote.

Generally, less than fifty percent of the eligible American electorate participate in elections. 6 Even in a close national race where each vote holds significantly more practical sway, such as the 2000 Presidential election, turnout did not dramatically increase. 7 The mass abstention from voting by Americans strikes at the heart of a representative democracy and indicates even larger social problems. 8 Moreover, this lack of participation, in the ...
 
 
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