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February 18, 2021 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Lewes Public Library
(302) 645-2733

There are more elections than ever before, and yet the world is becoming less democratic. This is the primary paradox presented by the authors of How to Rig an Election. Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas, two political scientists and preeminent experts on democracy and elections, examine how authoritarian leaders can gain and maintain political power by taking advantage of weaknesses in electoral systems. Using data collected from more than 500 interviews in 11 countries as well as a global data set of every elections held over the past 60 years, the authors lay out how gerrymandering, vote buying, repression, hacking, and ballot box stuffing are used by autocrats to ‘rig elections’ and what can be done to protect democracies.

This book discussion focuses primarily on the book and on the global state of democracy more generally. Leading the discussion is Justin Collier, PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware. His research includes public diplomacy, nationalism, national identity, and ethnic conflict. The first 15 registrants from the Lewes, Delaware area to sign up can pick up a free copy of the book from the library.

NOTE: this meeting is being conducted through Zoom. You MUST REGISTER to receive instructions for joining the meeting.

If you have need assistance with registration or getting your Zoom invitation, please email the Lewes Public Library.

Basic written instructions for using Zoom may be found here and a brief video tutorial may be found here.

This program is hosted by the Lewes Public Library and is funded by the “Why It Matters” initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Program Description

Did you know that in Norway non-citizens can vote after living in the country for three years? Or that in Switzerland all eligible voters are sent mail in ballots, which can be returned by the mail or dropped off at the polls? In a 2016 survey on global literacy conducted by National Geographic, only 14-29% of the general population could answer the survey questions correctly. When 1,203 recent college graduates were surveyed, the total percent of correct responses was just 55%. Citizens in the United States need to become more aware of the world around us and to perhaps look outward for some solutions to our internal issues. “Why it Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation” is a national initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and aims to “explore civic participation as it relates to electoral engagement in a multivocal democracy”. The Delaware Humanities project seeks specifically to examine and elucidate systems in the United States by putting our democracy into a global context.   We will be hosting two lectures, two panel discussions, and five book discussions throughout the state, all running from January-April 2021.  Check back or join our mailing list for more information in the near future. Book Discussions Delaware Librarians! Would you like to host a book discussion of How to Rig an Election by Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas? Delaware Humanities will supply 20 books and a facilitator to four organizations in the state to host a discussion. Discussions must take place between January and April 2021. Libraries will be responsible for:
  • Advertising
  • Attracting a group of 15-20 individuals
  • Distributing the books for free to the 15-20 individuals
  • Coordinating a date and time for the virtual discussion with the facilitator
  • Sending Delaware Humanities the date, time, and registration information for the discussion
  • Gathering completed program evaluations from attendees
If interested, email Ciera Fisher at Past Programs Freedom Under Siege: The Global Retreat of Democracy Lecture (January 7, 2021) The Global State of Democracy Panel Discussion (February 17, 2021)