MenuMenu Image

Op-ed by UK Law Professor and Election Law Expert Published in USA Today

October 25, 2016

Joshua A. Douglas, Robert G. Lawson & William H. Fortune Associate Professor of Law at University of Kentucky College of Law, recently authored an opinion piece, "The good news on voting and democracy," published in USA Today on October 23.

To read the op-ed, visit

“All politics is local, as the saying goes, and the same is true of election law," Douglas wrote in the piece. He went on to discuss three important takeaways from local experiments in election rules.

“Local voter expansions represent an emerging area in the debate about the right to vote. We should encourage these local innovations in our democratic process,” Douglas said. “If states are ‘laboratories of democracy,’ then localities can be what I have called ‘test tubes of democracy’ that may try out voting innovations on a smaller scale. The best ideas will ‘trickle across’ to other cities and ‘trickle up’ to states. In this way, local voting rules can bring about nationwide reforms.”

He goes on to tell readers that the right to vote comes from the U.S. Constitution, as well as from state constitutions and local ordinances. He concludes by saying, “We ignore these state and local voting rules at our peril.”

Douglas teaches and researches election law, civil procedure, constitutional law and judicial decision making. He is also a co-author of an Election Law case book (Aspen Publishers 2014) and a co-editor of a new book, Election Law Stories (Foundation Press 2016), which tells the behind-the-scenes stories of the major cases in the field.