finds election laws discriminatory
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.
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 Weavers
U.Va. honors thesis in government and may guide her lifes
work: securing the passage of consistent state voting laws.
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.
restrictive voting laws are race neutral on their face, but they
disproportionately affect blacks, Weaver said.
will attend Harvard Universitys Social Policy and Government
Program this fall.