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Dirty Tricks in the Digital Age

By Elaine Kamarck and Darrell M. West

How American elections are increasingly vulnerable—and what must be done to protect them

Until recently, most Americans could assume that elections, at all levels of government, were reasonably clean and well managed—most of the time. That positive view of American politics now seems outdated, even naïve.

Elaine Kamarck and Darrell West’s new book shows how American elections have been compromised by what used to be called “dirty tricks,” and how those tricks are becoming even more complex and
dangerous the deeper we get into the digital age. Old-fashioned vote-rigging at polling stations has been overtaken by much more sophisticated systemwide campaigns, of which Russia’s massive
campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election through social media is but one example.

Dirty Tricks in the Digital Age considers how American elections can be protected from abuse, both domestic and foreign. State governments have primary responsibility for elections in the United
States, but the federal government also must play a major role in shaping the system for how Americans cast their votes. The book outlines five concrete steps that state and federal leaders must take to protect voting and secure the future of American democracy.

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