Stuffing the Ballot Box is a pioneering study of electoral fraud and reform. It focuses on Costa Rica, a country where parties gradually transformed a fraud-ridden political system into one renowned for its stability and fair elections by the mid-twentieth century. Lehoucq and Molina draw upon a unique database of more than 1,300 accusations of ballot-rigging to show that parties denounced fraud where electoral laws made the struggle for power more competitive. They explain how institutional arrangements generated opportunities for executives to assemble legislative coalitions to enact far-reaching reforms. This book also argues that nonpartisan commissions should run elections and explains why splitting responsibility over election affairs between the executive and the legislature is a recipe for partisan rancour and political conflict. Stuffing the Ballot Box will interest a broad array of political and social scientists, constitutional scholars, historians, election specialists and policy-makers interested in electoral fraud and institutional reform.
• A book-length study of electoral fraud and reform available in any language • A study of presidential government and political reform • Historical study of democratization in Latin America
List of tables and figures; Preface; Introduction; 1. Electoral fraud during indirect and public elections, 1901–12; 2. Institutional change, electoral cycles, and partisanship, 1910–14; 3. Electoral fraud during the public ballot, 1913–23; 4. Institutional change, electoral cycles, and partisanship, 1924–8; 5. Electoral fraud during the secret ballot, 1925–48; 6. Political polarization, electoral reform, and civil war, 1946–9; Conclusion: ballot-rigging and electoral reform in comparative perspective; Index.
'… the research is well designed and gives evidence of the authors' detailed study of the evolution of Costa Rican democracy.' Democratization