Robert P. Alvarez

Robert P. Alvarez  is communications assistant at the Institute for Policy Studies.

Articles by this author

This obsession with criminalization is driven by structural racism. (Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Land of the Unfree
When I was a child, I learned to believe that Americans valued freedom and equality more than any other place on the planet. I learned that, in our criminal justice system, we were innocent until proven guilty. It’s hard to still believe that now. Call me a cynic, but as Independence Day approaches...
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We’ve got over a million people in prison, nearly a million more in jail, and half a million in immigrant detention. (Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Friday, May 22, 2020
A Simple Solution for the Coronavirus Crisis in Prisons
If you’ve ever had a parent or loved one incarcerated, you know how scary it can be. There’s so much that can go wrong in prison, and neither you nor your loved one have much control over it. Thanks to mass incarceration, millions live with this fear every day— 64 percent of U.S. adults have had an...
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An election official checks in a resident at a drive-up polling place set up outside of Roosevelt Elementary School on April 7, 2020 in Racine, Wisconsin. Views
Saturday, April 18, 2020
The Next Coronavirus Bill Must Protect the 2020 Election
First, it was a public health crisis. Now, it's decimating the economy. And for it's next trick, the coronavirus is threatening to undermine the 2020 election. Unless, that is, Congress steps in to ensure we can vote by mail. When it comes to providing the financial support necessary to ensure our...
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Communities are taking things into their own hands, advocating for and winning automatic voter registration and same-day registration, upending proposed voter roll purges, and requesting absentee ballots.(Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Republicans, Not Russians, Threaten Our Elections
Republicans are less likely to win elections when voter turnout is high. It’s true: Four of the five states with the highest voter turnout voted blue in the last presidential and midterm elections. All are crucial swing states. In 2016, the one that didn’t—Wisconsin—instituted a strict voter ID law...
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Anti-poll tax demonstrators confront police in London, 1990. A measure in Florida has been likened to a new poll tax. (Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Return of the Poll Tax
The poll tax Florida Governor Ron DeSantis just signed into law may cost his state $365 million a year — indefinitely. DeSantis and the GOP-led Florida legislature recently made quick work of dismantling Amendment 4, a voter-approved ballot initiative that would’ve restored the right to vote to...
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The impact of all this on our democracy is striking. (Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Let Prison Inmates Vote
Should Americans caught up in the justice system be stripped of their right to vote? Senator Bernie Sanders catapulted the issue into the spotlight when he declared his unequivocal support for the voting rights of prison inmates at a recent town hall. “I think the right to vote is inherent to our...
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Abolishing the Electoral College would level the playing field. It would ensure that people, not parties or mechanisms, determine who leads the country. (Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Abolish the Electoral College, Empower the People
Senator Elizabeth Warren is hell-bent on dismantling the systems that feed inequality in this country, including the Electoral College. “Every vote matters,” she said at a recent CNN town hall. That’s why we should “get rid of the Electoral College” and institute “national voting.” Americans don’t...
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