The Crisis of Voter Suppression in America
Published by: NYU Press
272 pages, 152.40 x 228.60 mm
- ISBN: 9781479862351
- Published: February 2020
An answer to the assault on voting rights—crucial reading in light of the 2020 presidential election
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is considered one of the most effective pieces of legislation the United States has ever passed. It enfranchised hundreds of thousands of voters, particularly in the American South, and drew attention to the problem of voter suppression. Yet in recent years there has been a continuous assault on access to the ballot box in the form of stricter voter ID requirements, meritless claims of rigged elections, and baseless accusations of voter fraud. In the past these efforts were aimed at eliminating African American voters from the rolls, and today, new laws seek to eliminate voters of color, the poor, and the elderly, groups that historically vote for the Democratic Party.
Uncounted examines the phenomenon of disenfranchisement through the lens of history, race, law, and the democratic process. Gilda R. Daniels, who served as Deputy Chief in the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and has more than two decades of voting rights experience, argues that voter suppression works in cycles, constantly adapting and finding new ways to hinder access for an exponentially growing minority population. She warns that a premeditated strategy of restrictive laws and deceptive practices has taken root and is eroding the very basis of American democracy—the right to vote!
Uncounted provides a road map to better understand the attacks on the right to vote and what strategies we need to employ to protect that right. It is an honest assessment of the roles that race and class continue to play in determining who benefits most from suppressing the vote and offers clarity on how understanding this truth is crucial to fighting back against these insidious efforts. ~Nicole M. Austin-Hillery, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch
Replete with documentary evidence and examples, this work sounds an alarm for any and all readers interested in reversing the damage and danger of the nondemocratic dynamic threatening truth, justice, and the fight to vote. ~Library Journal
This book offers readers the opportunity to familiarize themselves with past and present efforts to interfere with elections and the voting process. Gilda Daniels has provided a cogent, well-written roadmap through those efforts to restrict voting rights in the United States. ~New York Journal of Books
Daniels presents advocate briefs on a wide variety of issues, including redistricting, voter identification laws, felon disenfranchisement, and purging voter rolls. Fellow advocates will be heartened by her thorough argumentation. ~Choice
We are blessed in this presidential election year that former Deputy Chief of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and voting rights expert Gilda R. Daniels has written the definitive book on fighting against voter suppression and the erosion of our democracy...#RequiredReading. ~Ms. Magazine
In this guide to the practice [of voter suppression] and its effects a law professor Daniels, former deputy chief in the civil rights division of the U.S. Justice Department, describes how it works and provides a road map and a call to arms for participants in what she calls the fight to vote...This book is a valuable resource for all participants in civic life. ~Booklist (starred)
Foundational for anyone committed to fighting voter suppression in the current era. Daniels offers a rigorous historical narrative rooted in lived experiences that leaves readers with an understanding of the centrality of the right to vote, and the severity of the threats to that right, in democracy today. A must read for anyone seeking to understand the status of American democracy today. ~Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law
An important, well-researched, and fresh perspective on the key issue of making our electoral system more free and fair. Daniels has addressed this issue from the field, from within government, from the academy, and from her personal history as a native of the South. We should all take to heart the key voices and values that take center stage in Uncounted. ~Kareem U. Crayton, Executive Director, Southern Coalition for Social Justice
Brilliantly captures the pervasiveness of efforts to suppress the vote of minority populations in the US. Constantly metamorphosing to evade legal restraints and capitalize on new tactics, attacks on the franchise threaten the very foundation of our democracy. Uncounted is a must read for all who care about defending and strengthening our democratic system. ~Caroline Fredrickson, author of The Democracy Fix: How to Win the Fight for Fair Rules, Fair Courts, and Fair Elections
There is a sad sense of history's repeating itself in this focused, hard-hitting, and highly relevant work, which moves from the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965, which effectively tore down hindrances to voting in the South, to today's newly erected voter suppression tools by the states...An accessible human story of a longtime history of voter suppression. ~Kirkus Reviews
New Books Network Podcast
Are we asleep at the (common) wheel? Civil rights attorney and law professor Gilda R. Daniels insists that contemporary voter ID laws, voter deception, voter purges, and disenfranchisement of felons constitute a crisis of democracy – one that should remind us of past poll taxes, grandfather clauses, literacy tests, and physical intimidation – that should spur us to action. Uncounted combines law, history, oral history, and democratic theory to illuminate a 21st century, premediated legal strategy to disenfranchise voters of color.