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Note - Where's my Ballot?: Why Congress Should Amend House Bill H.R.1 to Include a National Mandate of Drop Boxes for Federal Elections to Help Protect the Black Vote


Casting a ballot should be easy, but voter suppression continues to be an obstacle for many Black voters. The failure during Reconstruction to address Black suffrage, together with the proliferation of Jim Crow laws, enabled states to abridge the right to vote based on race. The Fifteenth Amendment was intended to eliminate racial restrictions at the polls. Subsequently, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed in a further effort to outlaw discriminatory voting practices; however, in 2013, the Supreme Court effectively gutted the federal government’s oversight of voting procedures. Afterwards, states began enacting restrictive voting measures targeting the most marginalized. COVID-19 introduced new challenges to the electoral process. Disproportionately impacted by the ravages of the pandemic, Black voters were faced with the Hobson’s choice of deciding whether to safeguard their health or assume the risk of exercising their right to vote in person. This Note calls on Congress to amend House Bill H.R.1 to include a national mandate of drop boxes for all federal elections to protect the Black vote.