Friday, November 2, 2012
An eye-opening, fact-filled companion to the forthcoming PBS documentary starring political satirist and commentator Mo Rocca, "Electoral Dysfunction" illuminates a broad array of issues, including the Founding Fathers’ decision to omit the right to vote from the Constitution—and the legal system’s patchwork response to this omission; the battle over voter ID, voter impersonation, and voter fraud; the foul-ups that plague Election Day, from ballot design to contested recounts; the role of partisan officials in running elections; and the anti-democratic origins and impact of the Electoral College. The book concludes with a prescription for a healthy voting system by Heather Smith, president of Rock the Vote.
Rocca — a correspondent for CBS SUNDAY MORNING and a panelist on NPR’s WAIT, WAIT ... DON'T TELL ME! — heads to Indiana, home to some of the strictest election laws in the country, and meets one Republican and one Democrat who take him inside their efforts to get out every vote.
As he progresses on his journey, he searches for the Electoral College; critiques ballot design with Todd Oldham; investigates the debate over voter ID and voter fraud; and explores the case of a former felon who was sentenced to 10 years in prison — for the crime of voting.
He also meets reformers working to bring greater fairness to our election system. Among them are proponents of the National Popular Vote Campaign, who have devised a plan to reform the Electoral College without a Constitutional amendment.
Although this pragmatic measure - which would result in direct election of the President - has already passed in 31 state legislative chambers, it has received scant attention from the mainstream media.
Eye-opening, engaging and nonpartisan, "Electoral Dysfunction" is for voters who want their votes to count.