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.

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