May 18-24, 2001
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IN THIS ISSUE
Waters' mission runs deep
Two graduates honored for their service to humanity
Student aids the homeless

Mellon winner redefines "Jim Crow" era

Pre-med student shares his passion for music
Fast-track grad driven to help his family
Student leads effort to install Braille on Lawn room doors
Creative recycling: Students convert crate into studio
Lawson lives richly
Can you go home again? Issues facing international students
Education delayed but not denied
Weaver finds election laws discriminatory
Quilter gets A+
Students to go abroad on Fulbright scholarships
Weddle will research Peruvian women
Graduate rich in lessons learned
Anthony defender of public good
Affinnih plays her cards strategically
After earning degree in two years, graduate going for two more
Student develops new sign language system
Student trio pushes for late-night joe

s Weaver finds election laws discriminatory

Vesla Weaver spent the winter of 2000 knocking on doors in small towns, campaigning for Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley. Along the way, she learned that many people convicted of felonies were barred from voting in federal elections, and that voting laws vary radically from state to state.

In Vermont, for example, incarcerated felons can vote. In Virginia, however, no one convicted of a felony can vote again, legally, in a state or federal election. The topic became Weaver’s U.Va. honors thesis in government and may guide her life’s work: securing the passage of consistent state voting laws.

In the 1996 presidential election, she found that states with tighter voting restrictions had lower voter turnouts than states with less-restrictive voting laws. Those states, mostly in the South, with the lowest voter-turnout rates among African Americans were those with permanent disenfranchisement laws.

“Such restrictive voting laws are race neutral on their face, but they … disproportionately affect blacks,” Weaver said.

She will attend Harvard University’s Social Policy and Government Program this fall.

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