51 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2001 Last revised: 24 Jul 2013
Commentators almost universally condemn political vote buying, though the reasons for condemnation fall into three distinct categories: equality, efficiency, and inalienability. Any one of these three reasons may be sufficient to explain and justify a ban on vote buying. This overdetermination matters, not for the ban on core vote buying, but for myriad other situations that are similar to the core case but deviate from it in some way.
The Article applies the three criteria of equality, efficiency, and inalienability to evaluate a number of non-core vote buying practices: (a) legislative logrolling; (b) corporate vote buying; (c) payments to increase turnout; (d) candidate campaign promises and campaign contributions; and (e) voting in special district elections. Part II concludes that some of these practices violate only one or two of the three anti-vote buying criteria, and that a decision on each practice's desirability turns on a normative evaluation of these criteria.
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