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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Realizing a More Inclusive Electorate: Identity, Knowledge, Mobilization


This policy brief synthesizes research from the Haas Institute Diversity and Democracy affiliated faculty, lifting up lessons from recent research on how to confront voter disaffection, support inclusive identities, and increase democratic participation among underrepresented groups. The brief argues that many conventions of polling, categorizing, and engaging voters in campaign outreach reinforce chronic disparities in US election turnout—disparities that are particularly stark in midterm years like 2018. If we are to work toward a voting electorate that more closely mirrors the country’s diverse citizenry, we must confront the ways the information we do or don’t collect—and the outreach we do or don’t fund—contributes to a cycle of exclusion and non-participation.

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