Abby Rapoport

Abby Rapoport is a staff writer at The American Prospect. She was previously a political reporter for the Texas Observer. Her email is

Recent Articles

Eric Holder's New Fight Against Voter ID

(Flickr/Vox Efx)

Yesterday, Eric Holder opened a new front in his fight to preserve voting rights, as the Department of Justice announced that it would launch an investigation into Pennsylvania's voter ID law. The attorney general has been an outspoken critic of the strict new laws that require voters to show government-issued photo identification, calling them the equivalent of a modern-day "poll tax." The DOJ has blocked implementation of voter ID in Texas and South Carolina—states that, because of their histories of voter suppression, are listed in Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and therefore must get preclearance from the DOJ before they can change their election laws.

Do We Need a New Voting Rights Act?

(Flickr/Sunset Parkerpix)

On Friday, two counties in Southern states requested that the Supreme Court reconsider a key element of the Voting Rights Act. Both Kinston, North Carolina and Shelby County, Alabama hope the Court will find that Section 5 of the Act—the one that requires states and counties with a history of voter suppression to get permission from the feds before implementing changes to election law—is unconstitutional.

Voters of No Confidence


If Americans don't believe that elections are conducted fairly, or believe that the person who takes office didn't actually win, the implications for the country are pretty scary. But according to one recent survey, distrust in election outcomes is startlingly widespread—and growing.

Sharia Scare in Tennessee

(Courtesy of the Vanderbilt Alumni Association)

In Murfreesboro, Tennessee, just outside Nashville, the Muslim community won a hard-fought victory Wednesday. After a two-year legal battle that inflamed anti-Islamic sentiment across the state, a federal judge ruled that a new Islamic community center could get the permits necessary to open. Elsewhere in the state, however, Muslim residents got a cold reminder this week of just how much prejudice exists around them.

Can Rick Perry's Playbook Work in the Texas Senate Race?

(Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

Texas Governor Rick Perry is famous for delivering negative ads that send his opponents' campaigns reeling; they tend to contain such wild, over-the-top accusations that responding to them is tricky business. In the 2002 gubernatorial race, when he was fending off Democratic billionaire Tony Sanchez, the governor pulled out a last-minute ad that basically accused the candidate of laundering money for drug cartels.