Legacies of Segregation and Disenfranchisement: The Road from Plessy to Frank and Voter ID Laws in the United States

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Russell Sage Foundation

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RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences

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Original Item ID

DOI: 10.7758/RSF.2021.7.1.08


This article explores how voter ID laws further the dismantling of voting rights and the promises of full political engagement for racial minorities, especially African Americans. The authors highlight the racial politics that inform the emergence of these laws, and the racial intent and impact these laws have in diluting minority voting access and therefore political power. It begins with a short historical overview of voting rights since the eradication of slavery, then offers background on the current legal climate in which voter ID laws are situated. The essay concludes with an analysis of Frank v. Walker as a case study exposing the intent and impact of voter ID laws.


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, Vol. 7, No. 1 (July 2021): 134-146. DOI.