Why do world powers sometimes try to determine who wins an election in another country? What effects does such meddling have on the targeted elections results? Great powers have attempted for centuries to intervene in elections occurring in other states through various covert and overt methods, with the American intervention in the 2013 Kenyan elections and the Russian intervention in the 2016 US elections being just two recent examples. Indeed, the Americans and the Soviets/Russians intervened in one out of every nine national-level executive elections between 1946 and 2000. Meddling in the Ballot Box
is the first book to provide a comprehensive analysis of foreign meddling in elections from the dawn of the modern era to the 2016 Russian intervention in the US election. Dov Levin shows that partisan electoral interventions are usually an "inside job" occurring only if a significant domestic actor within the target wants it. Likewise, a great power will not intervene unless it fears that its interests are endangered by an opposing party or candidate with very different preferences. He also finds that partisan electoral interventions frequently have significant effects on the results--sufficient in many situations to determine the winner. Such interference also tends to be more effective when it is conducted overtly. However, it is usually ineffective, if not counterproductive, when done in a founding election. A revelatory account that explains why major powers have meddled so frequently across the entire postwar era, Meddling in the Ballot Box
also provides us with a framework for assessing the cyber-future of interference.
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