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Keeping down the black vote : race and the demobilization of American voters
2009
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  Publishers Weekly Review

From three distinguished academic authorities on vote suppression comes this comprehensive historical assessment of the corruption of American electoral procedures. From the founding of the two political parties to the 2008 election campaign, the authors describe how both parties have manipulated crucial African-American, immigrant and minority voters. As late at 1956, African-Americans wishing to register to vote were made to take literacy tests with questions like "What is due process of law?" and "How many bubbles are there in a bar of soap?" The authors argue that much of what is termed "election reform," "ballot security" and "electoral process integrity" serves much the same purpose as the old legal obstacles to universal suffrage. The authors' analysis of Reagan's second successful presidential campaign uncovers how both parties pay lip service to voter registration, while not wanting to identify too strongly with disenfranchised groups. The National Voter Registration Act, signed into law by Clinton in 1993, is also meticulously evaluated, highlighting the problems inherent in implementing federal regulations on state and local levels. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Summary
Today in the US, more than 40 years after the Voting Rights Act of 1965 demolished bars to voting for African Americans, the effort to prevent black people - as well as Latinos and the poor in general - from voting is experiencing a resurgence. A myriad of new tactics, some of which adopt the mantle of election reform', has evolved to suppress the vote. In this sharply argued new study, three leading experts on party politics and elections demonstrate that the political system is as focused on stopping people from voting as on getting Americans to go to the polls.'
Table of Contents
Foreword    Adam Cohenp. xi
Prefacep. xvii
Introductionp. 1
1The Party Logic of Voter Demobilizationp. 9
2Race and Party Competition in Post-World War II Americap. 34
3Black Voting Power in the Citiesp. 48
4Party Resistance to National Voter Registration Reformp. 98
5Beyond Race? The Parties Search for a "Third Way"p. 127
6Keeping Down the Vote: The Contemporary Revival of Vote Suppression Tacticsp. 164
Epiloguep. 205
Notesp. 211
Indexp. 259
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