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The Second Great Disenfranchisement

David Schultz has posted his article, "Less than Fundamental: The Myth of Voter Fraud and the Coming of the Second Great Disenfranchisement." It will be published soon in the William Mitchell Law Review. The article begins:

When it comes to voting and voting rights, American history is marked by two traditions. One expresses a continuing expansion of the formal right to vote beyond that found at the time of the framing of the Constitution where only white males who owned property, of protestant faith, and of specific age and citizenship, had franchise rights under the Constitution. ...

But while one American tradition was marked by an expansion of franchise, Alexander Keyssar notes another one characterized by efforts to deny the right to vote. There are repeated periods in American history to disenfranchise voters or to scare them away from the polls. For example, after the Civil War many in the South used Jim Crow laws, poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather laws, and not so subtle means such as lynchings, cross burnings, and other techniques to prevent newly freed slaves from voting. ...

A second great disenfranchisement is afoot across the United States as yet again voter fraud is raised as a way to intimidate immigrants, people of color, the poor, and the powerless from voting. This time the tools are not literacy tests, poll taxes, or lynch mobs, but instead it is the use of photo IDs when voting.

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