Molly McGrath ’12 Pens Voting Rights Op-Ed in LA Times


An op-ed by Molly McGrath ’12 appeared in the Los Angeles Times Feb. 20 calling for lawyers and voting rights advocates to take to the streets and the courts to combat voter ID laws.

McGrath worked with the nonprofit voting rights organization VoteRiders during the 2016 presidential election to help people comply with Wisconsin’s strict new voter ID laws. Her work was featured in The New York Times and on the Today show. In the op-ed, she writes of an 18-year-old woman who came to her for assistance after several trips to the DMV proved fruitless because she needed a Social Security card and wasn’t sure how to get one. McGrath says this experience showed her the real world disenfranchisement that happens when states require voters to go through an arduous process to obtain an ID before casting a ballot but don’t make an effort to help citizens comply. She points to a new study published in the Journal of Politics that found strict voter ID laws lowered turnout among African American, Latino, Asian American and multiracial American voters.

While the ACLU and other advocacy organizations like VoteRiders are challenging these laws in court, McGrath contends that more must be done.

“We have no choice but to organize, lace up our shoes and meet would-be voters where they live and work,” she writes.

Read the op-ed here.