An Election Observer in El Salvador Looks Back

Fall 2020 Reminds Me of 1994, When I Watched for Fraud and Intimidation as a War-Torn Nation Voted

In downtown San Miguel, long lines of voters snaked around the block in the pre-dawn darkness. It was still an hour before the open-air election booths on the sidewalks lining Avenida Roosevelt, the city’s main thoroughfare, would open. Many had walked long distances to get to the city; some were barefoot. Many were unsure if they were listed accurately on the voting rolls. Many were illiterate and would be depending on the pictorial symbols representing the political parties.

It was March 1994, and after 12 years of bloody civil war that …

Suppressing Voting Rights Is as Old as the Republic—But the Tactics Keep Changing 

Discriminatory State Constitutions, Poll and Literacy Taxes, and Now Photo ID Laws All Have Been Used to Keep Ballots From the Less Powerful 

The more that efforts to suppress voting rights in America change, the more they remain the same.

From the earliest days of the republic to the present, politicians have sought to …

How Midwestern Suffragists Used Anti-Immigrant Fervor to Help Gain the Vote

Women Fighting for the Ballot Saw German Men as Backward, Ignorant, and Less Worthy of Citizenship Than Themselves

In September 1914, the nationally renowned suffragist Anna Howard Shaw spoke to a large crowd at a Congregational Church in Yankton County, South Dakota. Shaw, a slight but charismatic 67-year-old, …

Here Are Two Voting Reforms That Could Counter America’s Hyperpolarization

When Used Together, 'Ranked Choice' and 'Top Two' Elections Would Strengthen Major Parties and Favor Moderate Politicians

Political polarization has spread across the globe. The ensuing ideological purity might make each warring faction appear stronger, but in reality, hyperpolarization weakens parties by making them less appealing to …

To Make California a True Democracy, Give Non-Citizens the Right to Vote

If You Root for the Dodgers, Pay Taxes, and Battle Traffic, Are You Any Less Californian Than Me?

President Trump claims that California allowed millions of non-citizens to cast ballots in the 2016 elections. This allegation, while totally bogus, has put California and its political leaders on the …