The Future of American Democracy: Why Your Vote Matters

Nina Bundy, Dr. McCartney, Department of Political Science, Towson University, 8000 York Road Towson, MD 21252

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there are approximately 140 voting rights lawsuits across the country, specifically in battleground states. States with the most active voting rights cases include Georgia, Florida, and Texas. These sunbelt states face the most voter-rights lawsuits due to flaws in their election infrastructures and policies, which have disenfranchised low-income voters and voters of color. The purpose of this research project is to examine how voter suppression laws and unfair election practices increase turnout gaps between whites and racial minorities during elections. Specifically, after the decision in Shelby v. Holder—a landmark Supreme Court case that eliminated the Voting Rights Act’s preclearance requirement for voting changes—many states began to create new policies that disproportionately target specific communities. For example, in Georgia, the Secretary of State and the State Election Board purged 200,000 voters from the polls last year. In Alabama, the League of Women Voters filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Election Assistant Commission Executive Director Brian D. Newby to prohibit the requirement of documentary proof of citizenship on the federal voter registration form. Research from the Brennan Center for Justice illustrates that seven percent of voters do not have documentary proof of citizenship, which prevents tens of thousands of individuals from registering to vote. Using a qualitative examination of state laws and decision of judges, quantitative census and voting data from 2016-2020, and a review of peer-reviewed scholarly papers, this project asks how discriminatory postal and election policies impact communities of color and affect particular demographics and explores the effects of these policies on the structure and leadership of American democracy. Based on the results, it will also offer ways to empower more people to vote, especially in the aftermath of the 2020 election year.  

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Nina Bundy

Institution: Towson University

Type: Poster

Subject: Political Science

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 10
Date/Time: Wed 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 6517