The Vote: When Does Suffrage Become Universal? | Wilson Center
6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

The Vote: When Does Suffrage Become Universal?

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Webcast Recap

This year’s Law Day theme is “American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters.” The 2014 Leon Jaworski Public Program will focus on the ideal and practice of universal suffrage, emphasizing and exploring the “every” in the 2014 Law Day theme. Scholars have traced the history of universal suffrage to the democratic revolutions of the late eighteenth century and the subsequent development of the norms and institutions of electoral democracy, beginning in the nineteenth century. The use of the term “universal suffrage” also dates to this period. Considering the fundamental concept of universal suffrage can help illuminate and frame contentious contemporary issues related to citizenship, enfranchisement, and disenfranchisement.

This event is co-sponsored with the American Bar Association.



  • Roger Clegg

    President and General Counsel, Center for Equal Opportunity
  • Aurelian Craiutu

    Professor of Political Science and Director, Tocqueville Program, Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Hendrik Hertzberg

    Senior Editor, The New Yorker and Board Member, FairVote
  • Claudio Lopez-Guerra

    Assistant Professor CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Ecónomicas) Division of Political Studies
  • Janai S. Nelson

    Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.