The Politics of Voter Suppression

October 24, 2012 | New Europe |

In her new book, The Politics of Voter Suppression: Defending and Expanding Americans’ Right to Vote, Tova Wang delves deep into the issue of voter disenfranchisement.  Six years in the making, this book is an honest, non-partisan testament to the issue of voter suppression in the United States. 

I recently sat down with Mrs. Wang for a conversation about her book and the subject of voter suppression in general.  A primary thesis of Mrs. Wang’s work is what she calls the Voter Inclusion Principle, in which she proposes a new standard for election legislation and reform analysis.  This new standard is a simple one; the majority of legislation and reforms that serve to reduce the size of the electorate are illegitimate and possible illegal, while almost all laws that serve to increase voter registration are beneficial to democratic elections. 

Mrs. Wang, a native New Yorker, first became interested in the subject in the wake of the 2000 presidential elections, particularly due to the ballot controversies in the state of Florida.  Shortly thereafter Mrs. Wang began working with the Carter-Ford Commission, formally called the National Commission on Federal Election Reform.  This commission was established in order to research ways to improve elections in the United States.  In 2006, while working with this commission, came the true genesis of Mrs. Wang’s research for this book.