Show Me the Ballot: The Ongoing Battle for the Right to Vote for Missouri’s Communities of Color


For two centuries, Missouri has been at the crossroads of voting rights debates. Today, the state remains at the forefront of modern-day barriers to the ballot, with repeated backlash towards growing political participation by voters of color. Lieberman draws on Missouri’s problematic history to contextualize the discriminatory voting practices disparately impacting voters of color around the country by offering a narrative arc of Missouri’s modern voting rights battles through the lens of local advocates involved in those fights. The Article explores Missouri’s voting rights battles to highlight discriminatory voting practices in the United States that limit the freedom to vote, marked by an erosion of protections against discriminatory voting practices and a surge of restrictive voting proposals that target and disparately impact voters of color. It illuminates Missouri’s role in elevating a critical narrative behind these nationwide attacks and tracks the role of the Mound City Bar Association (“MCBA”) and development of Missouri’s Election Protection program locally to respond to voter issues on the ground.


Voting Rights, Ballot, Missouri, Discriminatory Voting Practices, Restrictive Voting Proposals, Election Protection



Denise D. Lieberman (Washington University in St. Louis)



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