Atiba Ellis, Boden Visiting Professor, Marquette University Law School; Molly McGrath, American Civil Liberties Union Voting Rights Project
Since the 2010 election, more than 20 states have enacted new voting laws. They range from photo ID requirements, to limits on early voting, to changes in voter registration rules. Supporters of the changes say the goal of the legislation is to guarantee the integrity of elections and prevent voter fraud. But opponents say the new laws make it harder to vote, and have a disproportionate impact on minority communities. Molly McGrath says she’s seen the impact first-hand. McGrath is a voting rights advocate, organizer, and attorney who has led voter access projects in several states, including Wisconsin. She is currently with the ACLU’s Voting Right Project. Professor Atiba Ellis is a faculty member at the West Virginia University College of Law and a visitor this semester at Marquette. His research focuses on voting rights law and more generally includes democracy, voting, and race. Together, Ellis and McGrath will discuss how voting laws have changed in recent years, and what impact those changes might be having on our elections.