Katz on California’s Spotty Voting Rights History

Alisa Belinkoff Katz, associate director of the Los Angeles Initiative at UCLA Luskin, wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times that laid out California’s spotty history when it comes to free access to the ballot box. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the state systematically discriminated against groups including Chinese immigrants and the working poor, she wrote. By 1960, the state had veered away from tactics such as arduous registration requirements, literacy tests and voter roll purges and entered a more inclusive era. While California now offers early voting, vote by mail, internet registration, same-day registration, a “motor voter” program and other policies designed to encourage voting, “the California electorate remains older, whiter and wealthier than the population at large,” wrote Katz, lead author of a recent study on the evolution of voter access in the state. “Until our democracy gives voice to all segments of society, we still have work to do.”

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