Lecture Description

Americans have fought and died for the right to vote. Yet the world’s oldest continuously operating democracy guarantees the franchise to no one, not even citizens. This lack of universal voting rights originated in a crucial mistake by America’s founders: omitting a right to vote from the Constitution and leaving the franchise to the discretion of individual states. This lecture will examine the battles for the vote from the founding to the present. It will show that today our voting rights are in greater jeopardy than at any time in recent years. Politicians that benefit from voter suppression and the manipulation of legislative districts, rely on bogus claims of voter fraud to deprive millions of American the franchise through voter identification laws, political gerrymandering, registration requirements, the throttling of the Census and Post Service, felon disenfranchisement, and voter purges. Only a revived grassroots political movement can reverse the tide of voter suppression and guarantee to all Americans the right to vote, which grounds all other rights in our democracy.


Elections, Electoral College, Voting Rights Politics

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