Professor Steven Wright: Five must-read election law articles

Professor Steven Wright is a clinical instructor at the Wisconsin Innocence Project, where he specializes in DNA exonerations. He is a former trial attorney in the Voting Section of the United States Department of Justice. During his five years in the section, Wright ligated cases to enforce the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Acts, National Voter Registration Act, and the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act. He also litigated cases confronting controversies such as redistricting, voter ID, and election-day disenfranchisement. Here, Professor Wright offers his suggestions for five election law articles that every lawyer should read.

On the debate whether to restore voting rights to non-citizens
Many states, including Wisconsin, once granted some non-citizens the right to vote. Now, several communities around the nation debate whether to restore the franchise to immigrants.

On technology and the future of voting
Internet voting could be the future of American elections. In fact, many members of the armed forces, serving in combat zones, currently cast their ballots online or via e-mail. But such technology is far from perfect.

On improving voter turnout
Turnout, particularly in state and local elections, tends to be abysmal. So one might imagine that vote-by-mail elections could improve voter turnout. Maybe, maybe not.

On challenging voting discrimination
We often associate the struggle to expand voting rights with the struggles of African Americans. But, in recent years, many Native Americans have taken up the cause of challenging alleged voting discrimination.

On who should have the right to vote
Nearly 6 million people in 48 states—2.5 percent of the adult population—are currently ineligible to vote because of a prior conviction.