127 Yale L.J. F. (Feb. 2018 Forthcoming)
17 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2017 Last revised: 2 Nov 2017
Date Written: October 26, 2017
The most recent presidential election highlighted deep seated problems in American democracy that existing voting rights law cannot fix. This Essay employs the term “vote dissociation” to refer to a species of voting rights injury that is qualitatively different from both vote denial and vote dilution. A growing body of social science research documents the severance of the vote from its central function of ensuring that all members of our political community are accorded equal concern by elected officials. At the core of vote dissociation is the manner in which concentrated wealth translates into political power, with the concomitant effects of disconnecting less affluent voters from policymaking and exacerbating political polarization. Combatting vote dissociation requires that we understand the diminished political influence of less affluent voters as an injury to the constitutional right to vote.
Keywords: right to vote, voting rights, election law, campaign finance, gerrymandering, polarization, economic inequality
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