Voting rights


Supreme Court Ignores Science, Enables Voter Purging, But Data May Have Final Say

, Kendall Science Fellow

The Supreme Court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, has upheld a restrictive Ohio election law that initiates a process to purge eligible voters from its voter list if they fail to vote in a single election. A number of other states and localities have also implemented voter list purging tactics, and it is expected that this decision will result in additional states adopting more restrictive voter list purges. Read more >

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Did My Tea Leaves Reveal the Supreme Court’s Upcoming Gerrymandering Ruling?

, Kendall Science Fellow

This morning, I stirred my green tea vigorously to see if it would reveal the Supreme Court’s opinion on two partisan gerrymandering cases that are soon to be released. The tea spilled, I scalded my lap, then wondered why any Decent American Patriot would sip tea while the nation awaits a decision of such historic significance. I then made a cup of coffee and resolved to give up fortune telling.  So I won’t try and predict where the Court will come down on the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering. However, I will offer some guideposts to help interested parties (see what I did there) understand the significance of the decision when it comes.

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Testimony Reveals the Real Controversy over Census Data and Voting Rights

, Kendall Science Fellow

On Friday, May 18, the acting head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division repeatedly refused to answer questions about his role in the Justice Department’s December 2017 request to the Department of Commerce to add a new citizenship question to the Decennial Census. Read more >

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Photo: Denise Cross Photography/Flickr

The Science of Voting Rights + An Interview with Matt Dunlap

, Kendall Science Fellow

When Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap agreed to serve on President Trump’s “Election Integrity” commission, election scholars, myself included, roundly criticized him for legitimizing a nakedly partisan attempt to indulge the President’s fantasies about why he failed to win the popular vote. Mr. Dunlap’s pursuit of transparency is a crucial example of how a commitment to science-based policy and integrity can protect citizens from government agencies betraying the public interest. In early February, I sat down with Dunlap for an extended interview. We discussed his decision to serve, his experience as a member of the Commission, and the events that led to his lawsuit against the Commission. Read more >

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Pennsylvania’s New Congressional Map is Fair, But Reveals Fundamental Tradeoffs in Institutional Choice

, Kendall Science Fellow

Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court released its much-awaited Congressional redistricting plan to replace a 2012 Republican-drawn plan which it recently ruled to be an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. The new plan is unquestionably more fair, ensuring at least two more seats for Democratic voters who currently hold only 5 of Pennsylvania’s 18 seats, despite composing about half of the statewide electorate. However, the new plan, and others proposed over the last week, reveal a fundamental limitation of our electoral system that should concern not just the Democratic Party, but anyone concerned about political equality. Read more >

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