RadioWhoWhatWhy: Lawyers, Guns and Money

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University of Minnesota Law School professor David Schultz is an elections expert, and the author of the legal tome, “Election Law and Democratic Theory.”

Warren Zevon’s great song, “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” was about a kid getting out of trouble in various Latin American countries. Today, however, as we approach the 2016 presidential election, it might very well be a description of our election process.
It seems that lawyers, money and enforcement are an ever-growing part of American elections. A new set of rules seems to prevail. Issues such as campaign finance, voting rights, voter ID, electronic voting and ballot access itself are now debatable parts of voting in America.

How did we get here, how did democracy become so complex, and what’s the historical context? Just how deeply is fraud really built into the system? WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman talks with David Schultz, Hamline University professor in the School of Business, senior fellow at the Institute of Law and Politics at the University of Minnesota Law School, and professor of election law.

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One response to “RadioWhoWhatWhy: Lawyers, Guns and Money”

  1. onetree says:

    There could be positive aspects to a mandatory voting system and more might support it willingly if there was a choice of “None of the Above.” But there would have to be many exceptions for people who can’t physically get to the polling place or various other reasons. Choosing between brand A or brand B is not necessarily a choice that people want. To get people to come to the polls and vote willingly, there would have to be a real choice and opportunity for change. Otherwise, it would just be drudgery and another form of tyranny. And in order for it to really work, corruption would have to be removed from government. I don’t believe Republicans would ever support this idea and I’m sure Libertarians wouldn’t either. Personally, it seems a bit too Big Brother-like.

    On the other hand, if it were possible to have real change and corruption were removed from government, people would probably flock to the polls with renewed enthusiasm of their own accord.