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Explores and documents the causes and effects of the long history of vote denial on American politics, culture, law, and society. An open franchise is vital to the survival of democracy. Yet for the past two centuries women, immigrants, blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, poor people, and others have all faced organized efforts to obstruct their participation in the political process. The problem is still with us today. The debate over who can and cannot vote has been ""on trial"" since the American Revolution. Throughout U.S. history, the franchise has been awarded and denied on the basis of wealth, status, gender, ethnicity, and race. Featuring a unique mix of analysis and documentation, Voting Rights on Trial illuminates the long, slow, and convoluted path by which vote denial and dilution were first addressed, and then defeated, in the courts. Four narrative chapters survey voting rights from colonial times to the 2000 presidential election, focus on key court cases, and examine the current voting climate. The volume includes analyis of voting rights in the new century and their implications for future electoral contests.;The coverage concludes with selections of documents from cases discussed, relevant statutes and amendments, and other primary sources.