voting rights

  • Stacey Abrams’s Fight against Voter Suppression Dates Back to the Revolution

    by Karen Cook Bell

    "The roots of Black women’s activism can be traced back to the Revolutionary Era, when thousands of Black women protested with their feet and ran away from their enslavers." This act would shape the demands of radical Black politics in the ensuing decades.

  • The Media will be Key to Overcoming a Senate Filibuster on Voting Rights

    by Donald A. Ritchie

    "From the Boston Massacre to Watergate, the power of the media became manifest whenever editors and reporters, convinced of the seriousness of their cause, kept a story alive until they forced people to pay attention." TV journalist Roger Mudd kept the story of the Senate's filibuster of the Civil Rights Act in the public eye. 

  • It’s Time to Reframe Voting Rights in the Courts

    Since the expansion of voting rights by legislation and the courts in the 1960s, conservative legal activists have narrowed ballot access by shifting legal focus from the interests of the voters toward the purported interest of the state in protecting election integrity, balancing a real problem against a largely imaginary one. 

  • The Man Who Waited 50 Years for This Moment

    Fred Wertheimer has been battling the influence of money in politics since the 1970s. Writer George Packer asks if, at age 82, he will finally match his ideas to the political moment. 

  • If It’s Not Jim Crow, What Is It?

    by Jamelle Bouie

    NYT Columnist Jamelle Bouie relies on the historical writing of J. Morgan Kousser, who showed that disenfranchisement after 1877 affected African American and poor white southerners, was implemented through color-blind means, and had partisan, rather than simply racial, goals. But it was still Jim Crow, and the comparison to Georgia's new law is fair and valid. 

  • The Painful History of the Georgia Voting Law

    by Jason Morgan Ward

    The new wave of vote suppression bills, like the one in Georgia, reflect a less obvious but important aspect of Jim Crow law: the use of superficially race-neutral language to keep specific groups from voting. The danger is that courts today will similarly fail to see these bills for what they are. 

  • What Jim Crow looks like in 2021

    by Nicole Hemmer

    The most relevant aspect of Jim Crow today isn't the Klan, but the "color blind" legislation that Southern conservatives used to circumvent the Fifteenth Amendment. 

  • H.R. 1 Can’t Pass the Senate. But here are Some Voting Reforms that Could.

    by Richard L. Hasen

    An election law expert says that Democrats in Congress face a huge risk by pushing a large, comprehensive bill lumping voting rights protections with campaign finance and candidate disclosure provisions, instead of strategically exercising the powers already guaranteed under the Constituiton. 

  • The South's Jim Crow Barriers to Voting Rights are Going National

    Columnist Hayes Brown says that it's only fitting that new Jim Crow-style voting restrictions are a national phenomenon; Thomas Rice, the minstrelsy performer who invented the Jim Crow character was a New Yorker who successfully peddled anti-Black caricature across the nation. 

  • Americans Can Vote at 18 Because of Congressional Action 50 Years Ago

    by Jennifer Frost

    The 26th Amendment resulted from Congress's determination to act swiftly in response to a Supreme Court decision that made it impracticable to grant 18 year olds the right to vote by simple legislation. Youth vote activists, Congress, and democracy advocates should demand similar focus on protecting voting access this year. 

  • One Old Way of Keeping Black People From Voting Still Works

    by Jamelle Bouie

    The Senate filibuster thwarted a bill for federal supervison and certification of state elections, allowing Mississippi to ratify a white supremacist state constitution by suppressing  the black vote. 

  • Black Votes Have Always Mattered

    by Van Gosse

    While today's attacks on the Voting Rights Act harken back to the overthrow of Reconstruction and imposition of Jim Crow, the history of Black voting in America stretches back to the colonial era, as do arguments about the connection of race and citizenship.