Fair Elections Center is a national, nonpartisan voting rights and election reform organization which works to remove barriers to registration and voting for traditionally underrepresented constituencies.
This act was signed into law on August 6, 1965, by President Lyndon Johnson. It outlawed the discriminatory voting practices adopted in many southern states after the Civil War, including literacy tests as a prerequisite to voting. From ourdocuments.gov.
eBooks are accessible online, and many are available for download or 2 week check out.
Ballot Blocked: The Political Erosion of the Voting Rights Act by Jesse H. RhodesVoting rights are a perennial topic in American politics. Recent elections and the Supreme Court's decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which struck down key enforcement provisions in the Voting Rights Act (VRA), have only placed further emphasis on the debate over voter disenfranchaisement. Over the past five decades, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have consistently voted to expand the protections offered to vulnerable voters by the Voting Rights Act. And yet, the administration of the VRA has become more fragmented and judicial interpretation of its terms has become much less generous. Why have Republicans consistently adopted administrative and judicial decisions that undermine legislation they repeatedly endorse? Ballot Blocked shows how the divergent trajectories of legislation, administration, and judicial interpretation in voting rights policymaking derive largely from efforts by conservative politicians to narrow the scope of federal enforcement while at the same time preserving their public reputations as supporters of racial equality and minority voting rights. Jesse H. Rhodes argues that conservatives adopt a paradoxical strategy in which they acquiesce to expansive voting rights protections in Congress (where decisions are visible and easily traceable) while simultaneously narrowing the scope of federal enforcement via administrative and judicial maneuvers (which are less visible and harder to trace). Over time, the repeated execution of this strategy has enabled a conservative Supreme Court to exercise preponderant influence over the scope of federal enforcement.
Publication Date: 2017
The Ethics of Voting by Jason BrennanNothing is more integral to democracy than voting. Most people believe that every citizen has the civic duty or moral obligation to vote, that any sincere vote is morally acceptable, and that buying, selling, or trading votes is inherently wrong. In this provocative book, Jason Brennan challenges our fundamental assumptions about voting, revealing why it is not a duty for most citizens--in fact, he argues, many people owe it to the rest of us not to vote. Bad choices at the polls can result in unjust laws, needless wars, and calamitous economic policies. Brennan shows why voters have duties to make informed decisions in the voting booth, to base their decisions on sound evidence for what will create the best possible policies, and to promote the common good rather than their own self-interest. They must vote well--or not vote at all. Brennan explains why voting is not necessarily the best way for citizens to exercise their civic duty, and why some citizens need to stay away from the polls to protect the democratic process from their uninformed, irrational, or immoral votes. In a democracy, every citizen has the right to vote. This book reveals why sometimes it's best if they don't. In a new afterword, "How to Vote Well," Brennan provides a practical guidebook for making well-informed, well-reasoned choices at the polls.
Circulating books may be checked out in 3 week intervals.
Electoral Engineering: Voting Rules and Political Behavior by Pippa NorrisFrom Kosovo to Kabul, the last decade witnessed growing interest in ?electoral engineering'. Reformers have sought to achieve either greater government accountability through majoritarian arrangements or wider parliamentary diversity through proportional formula. Underlying the normative debates are important claims about the impact and consequences of electoral reform for political representation and voting behavior. The study compares and evaluates two broad schools of thought, each offering contracting expectations. One popular approach claims that formal rules define electoral incentives facing parties, politicians and citizens. By changing these rules, rational choice institutionalism claims that we have the capacity to shape political behavior. Alternative cultural modernization theories differ in their emphasis on the primary motors driving human behavior, their expectations about the pace of change, and also their assumptions about the ability of formal institutional rules to alter, rather than adapt to, deeply embedded and habitual social norms and patterns of human behavior.
Call Number: JF1001 .N67 2004
Publication Date: 2004
Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari BermanANew York Times Notable Book of 2015 AWashington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of 2015 Countless books have been written about the civil rights movement, but far less attention has been paid to what happened after the dramatic passage of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in 1965 and the turbulent forces it unleashed.Give Us the Ballot tells this story for the first time. In this groundbreaking narrative history, Ari Berman charts both the transformation of American democracy under the VRA and the counterrevolution that has sought to limit voting rights, from 1965 to the present day. The act enfranchised millions of Americans and is widely regarded as the crowning achievement of the civil rights movement. And yet, fifty years later, we are still fighting heated battles over race, representation, and political power, with lawmakers devising new strategies to keep minorities out of the voting booth and with the Supreme Court declaring a key part of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. Berman brings the struggle over voting rights to life through meticulous archival research, in-depth interviews with major figures in the debate, and incisive on-the-ground reporting. In vivid prose, he takes the reader from the demonstrations of the civil rights era to the halls of Congress to the chambers of the Supreme Court. At this important moment in history,Give Us the Ballot provides new insight into one of the most vital political and civil rights issues of our time.
Call Number: JK1846 .B47 2015
Publication Date: 2015
The Voting Rights War: The NAACP and the Ongoing Struggle for Justice by Gloria J. Browne-Marshall; C. T. Vivian (Foreword by)The Voting Rights War tells the story of the courageous struggle to achieve voting equality through more than one hundred years of work by the NAACP at the Supreme Court. Readers take the journey for voting rights from slavery to the Plessy v. Ferguson case that legalized segregation in 1896 through today's conﬂicts around voter suppression. The NAACP brought important cases to the Supreme Court that challenged obstacles to voting: grandfather clauses, all-White primaries, literacy tests, gerrymandering, vote dilution, felony disenfranchisement, and photo identiﬁcation laws. This book highlights the challenges facing American voters, especially African Americans, the brave work of NAACP members, and the often contentious relationship between the NAACP and the Supreme Court. This book shows the human price paid for the right to vote and the intellectual stamina needed for each legal battle. The Voting Rights War follows conﬂicts on the ground and in the courtroom, from post-slavery voting rights and the formation of the NAACP to its ongoing work to gain a basic right guaranteed to every citizen. Whether through litigation, lobbying, or protest, the NAACP continues to play an unprecedented role in the battle for voting equality in America, ﬁghting against prison gerrymandering, racial redistricting, the gutting of the Voting Rights Act, and more. The Voting Rights War highlights the NAACP's powerful contribution and legacy.