In the circumstances provided in these texts, we’ve found that without strict voting regulations and strict, continuous oversight, the process and conclusion of political competition is ultimately guided by corrupt measures. In responding to the prompt, obviously both electorally fraudulent strategies are hindrances to democratic integrity. However, each strategy yields significantly different effects to the political climate in which they operate.
As evidenced in Campbell’s well-documented description of the nature of local elections in and around 1900, both disenfranchisement of a significant subset of eligible voters and illegal augmentation of Democratic Party voting numbers were rampant transgressions committed by Democratic Party members and benefactors. In this situation, we see both the suppression of opposition vote totals and the addition of Democratic vote totals via different means. Understanding the context of this political situation in Louisville, I’m better equipped to make a justifiable claim regarding which strategy is a larger hindrance to democracy.
Contrary to my initial belief that voter suppression was more detrimental to democracy than flagrant electoral fraud by means of augmenting voting totals through illegal registration and ballot box manipulation, the effects of voter suppression at least create a partisan-directed dichotomy that influences those who are disenfranchised to seek retribution, and we see this in the Louisville example through the catalysis and establishment of the Fusionist party. And while quite obviously the relative success of the Fusionist party didn’t remedy all fraudulent evils instilled into society by the Democratic Party as it operated in Louisville, it provided a pathway for democratic integrity to be re-established.