Andrew L. Shapiro is chairman of GreenOrder, a consulting and information services firm he founded in 2000 that helps large enterprises improve sustainability. He is was previously executive director of the Twentieth Century Fund's Working Group on Campaign Finance Litigation and a fellow at Harvard Law School's Center for Internet & Society.
In recent years the idea of voting rights has become so tied to the question of racial districting—with its complex jargon, Rorschach-like maps, and inscrutable case law—that it's easy to forget how morally compelling the struggle for universal suffrage once was. Some might say this actually isn't such a bad development, to the degree that it reflects the absence of any remaining outright barriers to voting in the United States. This is the stuff of textbook pride: Constitutional amendments secured the right to vote for blacks, women, and 18-year-olds. Supreme Court rulings and the Voting Rights Act did away with other restrictive provisions such as literacy tests and property qualifications.