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Kae Eberhart

Document Type

Restricted CORE Hall of Fame Paper

Publication Date



[Excerpt] Many contemporary Americans tend to believe that minority voter suppression is a social justice issue of the past, stating that it was solved over half a century ago with the Voting Rights Act of 1965: the pinnacle of civil rights legislation in the United States. While it was and still is an important law, its powers have recently been diminished in the 2013 Supreme Court case Shelby County v. Holder. The court’s decision allowed many state governments to implement stricter electoral legislation that has had a disproportionately negative effect on minority voters. Some sources, like Hans von Spakovsky’s article “Election Reform in North Carolina and the Myth of Voter Suppression,” claim that these laws do not suppress minority voters, but data from Ben Jealous and Ryan Haygood’s article “The Battle to Protect the Vote: Voter Suppression Efforts in Five States and their Effect on the 2014 Midterm Elections” shows that minority voter turnout has decreased in the states that have imposed stricter electoral practices. Voter suppression was prevalent in the 2018 midterm election and will affect 2020’s presidential election unless new laws are passed to reinforce the Voting Rights Act’s protection of minority voters. Although dissidents will claim otherwise, minority voter suppression has resurged in recent years and the only way to reverse its effects is through counteractive legislation.