Barack Obama's reelection to the presidency of the United States was fraught not only with worry about whether he would be chosen by the people or get enough votes in the electoral college but also whether fraud would somehow alter the legitimate results.
An electronic voting machine in Perry County, Pennsylvania, selected Romney when the voter chose Obama, automated telephone messages called robo-calls in their thousands told people that the election was on Wednesday rather than Tuesday; people queued for most of the day because manipulation of voting hours meant they were likely to miss out and many states falsely advertised for the requirement of a photo id where none was needed.
Many, if not all of the above, were intentional acts of voter suppression. From state to state and from legislation to personal acts of intimidation there have been myriad ways that political parties have suppressed votes throughout the US' election history.
Tova Wang's book on the Politics of Voter Suppression comes at a time when such acts as she describes have been hitting the headlines.
With a fast-paced style she uses her experience of working with the Century Foundation on the National Commission on Federal Election Reform to present a clear and concise picture of how reforms have in turn affected voter participation. While the history of what she describes involves both the major US parties, in the last few decades it has mainly been the Republican party which has supressed voters in the name of fighting fraud.
The reform measures tend to be aimed at Americans whose voices are often ignored such as the poor, minorities and the young.
With close elections that hinge on thousands, even modest attempts to deny voters access to the ballot can result in a change in direction for the nation.
But even if it doesn't change the result, the denial of someone's ability to vote is a violation of that person's rights and a harm to democracy.
Laws restricting access to the ballot are very disturbing particularly as they occur against the backdrop of an equally distressing change in campaign finance law. The US Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v Federal Election Commission which removed any limits on private contributions to political action committees (PACs).
The unprecedented $6 billion spent in this latest campaign and one-sixth of that on presidential advertising alone significantly tilts the political playing field in favour of the wealthy, the powerful and the connected.
Not voting has other disadvantages which are felt at a personal level such as making people more engaged citizens and letting the parties know who counts. There is less incentive for elected parties to care for the needs of people who do not cast a ballot.
Allowing the wealthy and elite the power of effectively choosing a nation's leaders regresses the system back to the days when landowners held the power.
Tova Wang's account provides some fascinating insight to electoral processes that most of us would never know about.
The Politics of Voter Suppression: Defending and Expanding Americas' Right to Vote is published by Cornell University Press.