Donathan L. Brown, associate professor in the Department of Communication

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ITHACA, N.Y. — The 2016 presidential election is shaping up among a public discourse in which Americans, spurred largely by recent instances of police brutality, are taking a hard look at systemic racism in our society. A new book released this spring examines the ways discrimination impacts one of the fundamental rights for citizens of the United States: the right to vote.

Donathan L. Brown, associate professor in the Department of Communication

“Voting Rights Under Fire: The Continuing Struggle for People of Color” examines modern efforts to restrict voting rights of black and Latino citizens by exploring the history behind the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and its evolution in the decades since.

The book explores issues that include voter identification laws, accusations of voter fraud, and voting rights for convicted felons, and examines the racial dimensions embedded in public policy.

It was co-authored by Donathan L. Brown, associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Ithaca College, and Michael L. Clemons, associate professor of in the Department of Political Science and Geography at Old Dominion University.

Brown specializes in race and public policy, race and the Supreme Court, and political rhetoric. He said voter ID laws, currently in place in over 30 states, are really just attempts to regress the Voting Rights Act.

“They are thinly veiled racially retrogressive measures, aimed at preserving political dynasties otherwise on the verge of extinction,” he said.

What’s more, they’re based on faulty logic.

“Supporters of these measures, armed with nothing more than anecdotal remarks, have failed to produce evidence in defense of their argument that widespread voter fraud actually exists,” Brown said.

“Voting Rights Under Fire” was released in May, and is published by ABC-CLIO.

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