Jim Crow As Kafka: Voter Suppression on the Ground
27 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2019
Date Written: December 3, 2019
Requiring photo identification before voting has generated fiercely contested litigation and scholarly literature. This Article attempts to move the debate forward by examining how precisely Voter ID works on the ground. It investigates the precise mechanics of Voter ID in North Carolina, one of the states at the heart of the controversy, and scrutinizes precisely how a low-income voter of color without ID could obtain one. It finds not only that prospective low-income votes will face a series of debilitating costs in gaining the required ID, but that the mechanism of voter suppression turns on the creation of chaos and the transformation of a voter from a rights-holder into a bureaucratic supplicant.
Keywords: voting rights, voter suppression, civil rights, Jim Crow, North Carolina, bureaucracy, Voter ID, election law, gerrymandering, Shelby County v. Holder, 15th Amendment
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