Historian Revisits Bush v. Gore to Examine Modern Electoral Flaws

Sept. 22, 2008

Event: Noted historian Charles L. Zelden will explore problems with the American electoral system in the lecture, "The Unlearned Lessons of 2000: Bush v. Gore and the Hidden Crisis of American Democracy." The talk is free and open to the public.

When: 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 24

Where: Mezes, Room 1.306 at The University of Texas at Austin. A campus map is available online.

Background: Most Americans will go to the polls in November confident their votes will be fairly counted and the results accurately tabulated. But they may be badly mistaken, according to Zelden, professor of history at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

The lecture will draw on Zelden's landmark study, Bush v. Gore: Exposing the Hidden Crisis in American Democracy, which scholars recognized for its non-partisan fairness, mastery of the complexities of the electoral system and its authoritative discussion of the Supreme Court case that resulted in George W. Bush's victory in the 2000 election.

Zelden will review the controversies surrounding the Bush-Gore race and call for increased attention to the electoral flaws the political contest revealed.

"The 2000 presidential election and what it produced was a clear warning about the failures within America's political institutions," Zelden said. "It warned just how old and creaky the electoral system was, and of its potential for future collapse and failure."

For more information, contact the Department of History at 471-3261.

For more information, contact: Christian Clarke Casarez, director of international public affairs; Mark Lawrence, associate professor, Department of History, 512-475-9304.