New Barriers to Voting

Modern Obstacles to Voting

Gerrymandering and Redistricting

Redistricting is a process that takes place normally after a U.S. Census, every 10 years, to more accurately draw political district lines to reflect changes in population.

Gerrymandering occurs when oddly shaped districts are formed in order to favor a particular political party. Of the ten states deemed to be most-gerrymandered, Democrats redrew the lines on four states while Republicans redrew the lines on six.

Educational Inequities

Students of color are disproportionately impacted by what is known as the “school-to-prison pipeline.” Due to gross structural inequities in the U.S. public school system - including inadequate education resources, harsh disciplinary policies and policing of under-resourced schools - a high percentage of marginalized youth are put on a pathway out of the classroom and into the criminal justice system.

Lack of Voting (Historically)

Historic barriers to voting existed to prevent Black and American Indian communities, as well as women, from changing the white-male-dominated system put in place at the founding of the country.

With the passage of the 15th and 19th Amendments that gave African Americans and then women the vote, many elected officials worried that the new large voting blocs might favor one party over another. The dominant culture was especially concerned with women voting as their voting bloc was extremely large.

Language Barriers

U.S. citizens who immigrated to the United States from non-English-speaking countries may find English to be a difficult language to master. Many refugees coming from poor or war-torn places may have lacked access to formal education and are not competent in their own language, and now face the challenges of learning another language.


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