Why Courts Matter in the Fight for Voting Rights

A new CAP report addresses voter suppression tactics and details the power of the Voting Rights Act to combat them.

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Voting is more than simply deciding which candidate to support; it is an experience. Depending on where you live, the laws of your state, your ease of access to transportation, and the ways your county administers elections, this experience—from registration to actually casting a ballot—differs greatly between counties and is largely dependent on the actions and laws passed by local officials.

Unsurprisingly, those in power seek to maintain the status quo because that is what put them into power in the first place. Lawmakers can use their power to create laws crafted to their self-preserving advantage and make it harder for new populations—who are often viewed as threats to the status quo—to participate in the democratic process. Often termed “the tyranny of the majority,” our nation’s founders grappled with this problem of protecting the status quo, which could be used to limit the power that new demographic populations have to participate in our democracy.

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