Vote Dissociation

127 Yale L.J. F. (Feb. 2018 Forthcoming)

Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 424

17 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2017 Last revised: 2 Nov 2017

See all articles by Daniel P. Tokaji

Daniel P. Tokaji

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

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

Suggested Citation

Tokaji, Daniel P., Vote Dissociation (October 26, 2017). 127 Yale L.J. F. (Feb. 2018 Forthcoming); Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 424. Available at SSRN: or

Daniel P. Tokaji (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

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