Review by Choice Review
Minnite (Barnard College) argues persuasively that instances of people fraudulently voting in the US are rare. She makes a compelling case that the vast majority of non-legitimate registrations are innocent errors, that only a small number of individuals illegitimately registered actually cast ballots, and that only an even smaller number of these illegitimate ballots are counted. Using game theory, she suggests that her findings should not be surprising as the high potential costs of illegal voting would not justify the problematic gains. She then demonstrates that, although voter fraud is insignificant, the myth of voter fraud is important as a means to justify cumbersome administrative practices designed to depress turnout. This is careful empirical work of 158 pages of text, 88 pages of appendixes, and 43 pages of notes. Minnite's data are archival from judicial, administrative, and journalistic sources from the federal government and the states. Although she fails to justify her choice of California, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Oregon for her detailed case studies, her more comprehensive data sets suggest that the findings would be similar everywhere. She writes engagingly and with a sense of humor. An important book. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels. R. E. O'Connor National Science Foundation
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.