This book invites the reader to rediscover the knowledge and the practices that shape our experience of the vote. No offence to political commentators on election night, but an election is not just a way to make an opinion count. It is also a social ritual, a codified mise-en-scène, contingent on multiple issues.
Ballot, optical scanner, voter ID, ballot box, voting machine : our relationship with the instruments of the vote is changing. New inquiries into the means to elect and be elected are emerging, and the material history of representative democracy is opening itself to new methods of stimulation.
This work synthesizes the material and socio-historical dimensions of electoral operations, assembling the results of numerous studies lead over the course of the past five decades. It is a story revealing the challenges of the act of voting, between the technical and the political, atmosphere and mobilization, archaism and modernity.
Yves Déloye is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Paris-I-Panthéon-Sorbonne.
Olivier Ihl is a Professor of Political Science at the Grenoble IEP.