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U.S. Ranks Third in Election Administration in North America—Much to Learn From Our Neighbors—According to Election Law Journal

Larchmont, NY, August 3, 2004—The election fiasco in Florida in November 2000 was not unique; almost every state had similar problems, and the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 solves only a few of them. In an assessment of how well the United States administers elections as compared to its neighbors – Mexico and Canada – the current issue of Election Law Journal (Volume 3, Number 3) finds that the United States ranks third in almost every category. Election Law Journal is a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (

Twenty scholars, election administrators, and politicians from Mexico, the United States, and Canada contributed articles to this volume, entitled “Democracy and Elections in North America: What Can We Learn From Our Neighbors?” They analyze and compare the administration of elections and the campaign financing systems in each country. They also delve into specific issues, like redistricting, voter registration and identification, and adjudication of disputes, and propose ways that each country can and should learn from each other.

The volume is the culmination of a year-long research project that included a conference at American University (AU) in Washington, D.C. Symposium Editor Robert A. Pastor is Director of two Centers at AU that co-sponsored the Symposium – the Center for North American Studies and the Center for Democracy and Election Management. “Despite the political trauma experienced by the American body politic in the Florida election of 2000, and despite the long national debate on ways to improve the electoral and campaign financing systems,” Pastor writes in his concluding article, “no American leader” even posed, let alone answered the question at the heart of this volume – What Can We Learn From Our Neighbors? This volume shows that there is much to learn – not just by the United States but also by Canada and Mexico. And not only would our democracies improve if we learned the lessons, but our relationships would also become more respectful.

Among the many contributions, John Courtney, Professor at the University of Saskatchewan, examines Canada’s redistricting system, which could solve what Pastor describes as the “gravest threat to accountability” in the U.S. today. George Grayson, Professor at the College of William and Mary, shows how the U.S. could learn from Mexico’s registration system. Three articles propose constitutional changes in each country, and Leonard Shambon explains why the election of 2004 is likely to be as problematic as that of 2000.

Election Law Journal is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published quarterly in print and online. Co-edited by Daniel H. Lowenstein of UCLA Law School and Richard Hasen of Loyola Law School, the journal covers the emerging specialty of election law for attorneys, election administrators, political professionals, and legal scholars. It covers election law on the federal, state, and local levels in the U.S. and in 75 countries around the world. A complete table of contents and a free sample issue may be viewed online at