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Voting Rights

A Collection of resources to learn about the history and legacy of the Voting Rights Act

News Articles, Websites and Databases

Periodicals Archive Online

A digital archive of over 700 publications in the arts, humanities and social sciences. This database spans scholarly journals, historical periodicals and magazines.  

Ethnic NewsWatch

A bilingual (English and Spanish) database of newspapers, magazines and journals from minority press sources. Offers additional viewpoints from those proffered by the mainstream press and contains over 250 publications. 

How Democrats Suppress the Vote

An article that demonstrates how the off-cycle elections largely favor Democratic candidates. 

Project Vote Blog

A rundown of voting rights-related news that allows users to filter topics by state and issue. 

Election Updates

A Caltech blog that provides research, analysis and commentary on election reform, voting technology and election administration. 

A Dream Undone

A New York Times article that traces the origin of efforts for voting reform, the impact of the Civil Rights Movement on the passage of the Voting Rights Act, and the recent push to diminish aspects of the legislation that mainly aid minorities. 

Voting Rights Act

A frequently updated collection of opinion pieces, blogs and news articles aggregated by the Brennan Center for Justice. 

LBJ and the Speech That Changed America

An analysis of the grassroots activism and civil liberty abuses that brought the voting rights issue to the forefront of American political consciousness and informed the progressive, unprejudiced language of President Johnson's historic speech. 

Election Law Blog

A blog founded by University of California Professor Richard Hasen that focuses on a wide range of issues related to voting rights including absentee ballots, redistricting, registration concerns and voting technology. 

New York Times

The New York Times webpage on Voting Rights news.

Voting Toolkit

A guide to voter registration and voting in your state.

Bloody Sunday March

President Barack Obama makes remarks at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the "Bloody Sunday" march from Selma to Montgomery, in Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7, 2015.

Source: Wikimedia Commons Images

Voting News

De-class-ifying Microtargeted Political Advertisting

In contemporary American politics, Big Tech companies provide sophisticated advertising interfaces that enable anyone to target specific voters by demographic. These companies defend their tools as “neutral” to evade culpability for discriminatory ads. Yet, such microtargeted advertising presents a significant threat to democracy. This Article advances a possible two-pronged solution to bar online platforms from targeting political ads based on a user’s protected class. First, this Article promotes a largely unexplored tactic: extending Title II of the Civil Rights Act into the digital space so that behavior that would be impermissibly discriminatory offline is not permitted online. Second, this Article suggests that impacted users should focus their suits not on ad content, but on platforms’ design choices and the underlying data harnessed for the service of ads. Ultimately, the goal of this Article is to prevent the online voter suppression tactics deployed through these advertising services.

A Government of Laws and Not of Men: Why Justice Brandeis Was Right to Assume Congress Can Restrain the President's Removal Power

Since the Founding, the extent of the president’s power to remove executive officials from office remains unsettled. While the Appointments Clause in Article II, Section 2 empowers Congress to participate in the hiring of executive officials, the United States Constitution’s text is silent on whether Congress can limit the president’s ability to fire such employees. The debate on the proper scope of the president’s removal power is significant because it serves as a proxy for a larger constitutional question: whether constraints on presidential power advance or sit in tension with democracy. This Article argues that Justice Brandeis was right to champion a shared removal power between Congress and the president to prevent the arbitrary exercise of executive power and uphold democratic values.

A Modern-Day 3/5 Compromise: The Case for Finding Prison Gerrymandering Unconstitutional Under the Thirteenth Amendment

Vestiges of slavery and systemic disenfranchisement of people of color persist in the United States. One of these remnants is the practice of prison gerrymandering, which occurs when government officials count incarcerated individuals as part of the population of the prison’s location rather than the individual’s home district. This Article argues that prison gerrymandering functions as a badge of slavery that should be prohibited under the Thirteenth Amendment.

First, this Article provides background on prison gerrymandering and charts its impact through history, particularly on Black communities. Moreover, this Article analyzes how litigation under the Fourteenth Amendment has not yielded meaningful results. Though the issue of prison gerrymandering has been written about extensively, most legal arguments rely on the Fourteenth Amendment, and there has been little scholarship on abolishing the practice through the Thirteenth Amendment. Acknowledging this gap, this Article argues that prison gerrymandering is a vestige of slavery rooted in the Three-Fifths Clause of the Constitution. Therefore, this Article concludes that prison gerrymandering is unconstitutional under the Thirteenth Amendment.

A Constitutional Right to Early Voting

Voting is a cost-benefit decision. Individuals are more likely to vote if the benefits of doing so outweigh the disadvantages. With early voting laws eased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 election demonstrated that turnout increases when elected officials reduce voting costs. Despite all the benefits of early voting, there is no constitutional right, and it remains a privilege that state legislatures can revoke at will.

Since the 2020 election, state legislatures have proposed—and enacted—hundreds of bills to change voting rules. But with the intense partisan disagreement over voting, coupled with political polarization reaching an apex, these acts restricting early voting not only impact turnout, in general, but also have a more profound effect among women and people of color. While other scholarship has examined the effects of early voting regulations and called for laws to protect early voting, this Article contends that the right to vote should include a constitutional right to early voting—especially as more citizens are casting ballots before the prescribed day.

The Looming Threat of the Independent State Legislature Theory and the Erosion of the Voting Rights Act: It is Time to Enshrine the Right to Vote

Over the last decade, the emergence of an imperial United States Supreme Court—currently armed with the largest conservative majority since the 1930s—has radically reshaped federal voting rights protections. During the litigation surrounding the 2020 election, however, an obscure threat reemerged. The fringe independent state legislature (“ISL”) theory is a potentially revolutionary constitutional theory that could lead to widespread voter disenfranchisement. Proponents of the theory, including Supreme Court Justices, posit, in part, that the United States Constitution vests state legislatures with plenary power to construct rules for federal elections—unbound by state constitutions and free from state judicial review.

Once a refuge for vulnerable voters, recent Supreme Court decisions have left no question that federal courts are restrained in the fight against the increasing number of voter suppression measures enacted by state legislatures. Although the reaction from political leaders has focused on federal legislation, this Article contends that even stronger protections are required at this critical moment. With attacks on the franchise in state legislatures and the Nation’s judiciary, voting rights advocates must lead a national conversation around amending the United States Constitution to affirmatively grant the right to vote.

Accordingly, this Article argues that robust federal legislation and a constitutional amendment enshrining an affirmative right to vote would settle a centuries-long debate about the accessibility of our constitutional democracy’s most essential feature and bring the United States up to par with other democracies.



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