Benson (law, Wayne State U.) takes up a matter that few Americans knew or cared about until the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, when state secretaries used nefarious means to throw their states and so the election to the candidate they personally supported. She expands the story beyond the scandals to explain the nuts and bolts of both the administrative and the political dimensions of the position, with case studies demonstrating the variety of arrangements and traditions across the states. Her topics are the preeminent role of the state secretary of state in election administration; the secretary's relationship to the political party; congressional oversight; voter accessibility; and the secretary as voter advocate, voter educator, election reformer, voter protector, enforcer, and certifier. Her important study should narrow the public's blind side. Annotation c2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Jocelyn F. Benson is Assistant Professor of Law at Wayne State University Law School. She is also the founder of the Michigan Center for Election Law and Administration, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization designed to support the fair administration of elections. She is a member of the American Bar Associationa€?s Standing Committee on Election Law, and has previously served as a National Field Director of Election Protection for the Democratic National Committee.