Politics & Polls #173: In Our Elections We Trust Featuring Rick Hasen

Feb 27 2020
By Brillian Bao
Source Woodrow Wilson School

With the 2020 campaign season underway, some are growing concerned about the fairness and accuracy of elections. The news is dominated with stories of Russian-based Internet hackers, voter suppression, and flaws in the campaign finance system. Given all this talk of “stolen” or “rigged” elections, can we be confident in the integrity of the results?

Rick Hasen joins Julian Zelizer in this week’s episode to discuss the state of our election system. Hasen’s latest book, “Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy,” examines the country’s decline in trust in our elections and proposes possible fixes.

Hasen is the Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine. His research focuses on election law and campaign finance regulation. Hasen previously served as a founding co-editor of Election Law Journal and has authored more than 100 articles on election law issues, which have been published in numerous journals including the Harvard Law Review, Stanford Law Review, and Supreme Court Review. He is also the founder of Election Law Blog and the author of “The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption.”


Zelizer has been among the pioneers in the revival of American political history. He is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University and a CNN political analyst. He has written more than 900 op-eds, including his popular weekly column for CNN.com and The Atlantic. This year, he is the distinguished senior fellow at the New York Historical Society, where he is writing a biography of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel for Yale University's Jewish Lives Series. He is the author and editor of more than 19 books including, “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society,” the winner of the D.B. Hardeman Prize for the Best Book on Congress. In January 2019, Norton published his new book, co-authored with Kevin Kruse, “Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974.” In spring 2020, Penguin Press will publish his other book, “Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, The Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party.” He has received fellowships from the Brookings Institution, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation and New America.