Reading List

The following is our recommended Reading List.  Our list compiles select writings by leading academics, organizers, journalists, and litigators on topics relevant to the Right to Vote Initiative, including right-to-vote amendment language and the history of the right to vote and race.  We update this list regularly.

By Advancement Project | October 27, 2016

In Pursuit Of An Affirmative Right to Vote A Strategic Report, July 2008

A preliminary examination of the need to amend the U.S. Constitution in order to explicitly guarantee that all eligible Americans have a fair, equal, and inclusive voice in our democracy.  The report identifies strategies that would be most effective in raising public awareness that the current combination of unduly burdensome procedures, underfunded bureaucracies and partisan officials has created a patchwork of arbitrary practices tending to contract, rather than expand the franchise.

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By Matthew Yglesias | October 17, 2016

Americans don’t have a constitutional right to vote – it’s time for that to change Vox (Oct. 20, 2014, 2:00 P.M. EDT)

Writer Matthew Yglesias argues for the right-to-vote amendment:

“[A]n affirmative right to vote would give voting-rights proponents a positive vision to organize around, rather than simply playing defense against various ID measures.”

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By Janai S. Nelson | October 17, 2016

A call for a right-to-vote amendment on Constitution Day Reuters (Sept. 17, 2003)

Janai Nelson argues for a right-to-vote amendment:

“A right-to-vote amendment would open the door to voting access for excluded groups, such as the homeless, citizens convicted of a felony, and residents of the District of Columbia, among others.  In addition, a constitutional amendment process centered on the right to vote would build civic awareness,  inspiring a new vision of participatory democracy.”


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By Franita Tolson | October 17, 2016

Protecting Political Participation Through the Voter Qualifications Clause of Article I 56 B.C.L. Rev. 159 (2015)

Professor Franita Tolson argues for heightened judicial scrutiny of voting restrictions by states:

[T]he Voter Qualifications Clause requires that states aggressively safeguard political participation in order to protect federal voting rights, which in turn requires courts to apply a higher level of scrutiny when assessing the constitutionality of state election laws.”

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By Jonathan Soros, Mark Schmitt | October 17, 2016

The Missing Right: A Constitutional Right to Vote Democracy: Journal of Ideas, Issue 28 (Spring 2013)

Jonathan Soros and Mark Schmitt argue for the right-to-vote amendment:  

“In the era of the voting wars, the right to vote is itself a subject of continued partisan, regional, and racial conflict. It’s time to resolve the fights, and fulfill the promise of American democracy, by joining together in an effort to make the right to vote, at last, a part of our basic covenant as a nation.”

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