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Episode from the podcastAll Things Grinnell

Voting Rights: Devil in the Details

Released Thursday, 16th January 2020
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Doug Hess '91, assistant professor of political science, has researched the National Voter Registration Act basically since it was passed by Congress in 1993. The law was intended to advance voting rights by requiring states to incorporate registration opportunities into the application process for a motor vehicle license and many types of public assistance. States were supposed to implement the law by 1995, but as we enter 2020, many aspects of the policy have stalled or been neglected. Because of this, Hess continues to research and monitor the implementation of the legislation throughout the United States. Student researchers Greg Eastman '19 and Takshil Sachdev '19 join for this discussion of the status of the legislation throughout the country, obstacles to implementation, and potential solutions to overcome these challenges. Then, Hess discusses the recent Grinnell College National Poll findings about voter confidence in elections, and what it may mean for turnout in the upcoming presidential election.