Incarcerating Democracy



Voter suppression tactics are being used to undermine democracy and disenfranchised citizens.


Millions of Americans are barred from voting due to felony convictions. Additional suppression methods like voter ID laws, purges, and gerrymandering also restrict access. Misinformation and logistical obstacles compound these issues. Tactics disproportionately impact communities of color.

Policy Response

To address ongoing voter suppression, policymakers should take steps to restore voting rights, increase access, improve education and oversight, and strengthen legal protections. Felon re-enfranchisement laws should be reformed to allow more citizens with past convictions to vote. Voter ID requirements, gerrymandering, and other discriminatory barriers must also be eliminated. Nonpartisan voter education, election monitoring, and standardized early voting and mail ballot rules can counter misinformation and logistical obstacles. Bolstering support for advocacy organizations challenging suppression laws through lawsuits is critical. Increased federal oversight can identify and halt suppression in states with a history of discrimination. Implementing these policies will help dismantle systematic disenfranchisement, ensure voting access, and strengthen American democracy.

Key Takeaways

  • Felony disenfranchisement laws bar 5.2 million citizens from voting. 
  • Voter ID laws reduce turnout, especially among minorities.
  • Misinformation via the media undermines election legitimacy. 
  • Logistical obstacles like reducing polling sites restrict voting access.
  • Gerrymandering rigs district boundaries to limit minority representation.