Charlotte Talks: Voting Reforms Gain Traction, At Least At Local And State Level

May 15, 2019

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Credit Michael Tomsic / WFAE-FM

The pushback to gerrymandering — an issue North Carolina is well acquainted with — is one area of voting rights where activists at the state and local level are taking the lead. Elections expert Joshua Douglas chronicles those efforts in his new book, and joins Mike Collins for a look at the state of voting in America.

“Optimism” isn’t a word that often describes current electoral politics, but that’s Joshua Douglas’ outlook for voting rights.

While voting reform isn’t registering at the federal level, Douglas says states and local activists are making progress on expanding access to the ballot box. Florida, for example, recently passed a constitutional amendment restoring voting rights to ex-felons, though that state’s Republican legislature is stymying it.

Some local governments have lowered the age for voting in municipal elections to 16, a move Douglas says "makes a lot of sense."

Douglas will be discussing his voting reforms studies Saturday, May 18 at Park Road Books at 2 p.m.


Joshua Douglas, University of Kentucky College of Law, Thomas P. Lewis Professor of Law; author of Vote for US: How to Take Back Our Elections and Change the Future of Voting (@JoshuaADouglas)