Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Schraufnagel, Scot

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


Although there is literature on the overarching political behaviors of Americans, what about the motivation of individual minority actors looking to hold state office? What has the literature contributed to the specific experience of those of color? Why do we not see a more representative amount of Black and Latinx Americans in office representing their constituencies? Using the 2020 Cost Of Voting Index, and pairing it with election outcome data from 1996-2020, I looked deeper into the story behind the lack of proportional representation for growing populations of American minorities. I found that when the COVI values are higher in a state, indicating that it is harder for a citizen of that state to vote, the presence of Black Americans and Latinx Americans in statewide office is less. This shows that in turn, whether intentional or unintentional, the voting laws in America affect the mobilization or lack thereof for Black and Latinx Americans in the American political system. Key Words: Mobilization, Disenfranchisement, Electoral Climate, Institutional Climate, Descriptive Representation


46 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type