Graduation Year


Document Type

Senior Thesis


Bachelor of Arts

Primary Major

Social Justice

Second Major


Thesis Advisor

Jennifer Lucko, PhD

Community Partner(s)

Canal Alliance, Marin's Community School, Young Mom's Marin, League of Women Voters, Next Generation Scholars


For two hundred years Americans have had to fight for the right to vote, yet it is still an ongoing challenge for many communities, the Latinx community in particular. In this study I analyzed what factors determine an individual’s access and participation in the voting process, focusing on the Latinx community in the Canal District of San Rafael, who are impacted by the barriers intended to limit their ability to vote. This study used a mixed methodology to understand these factors with the aim of providing guidelines for supporting marginalized voters. In addition to using qualitative data from interviews with people who participated in voter advocacy, my findings incorporated literary analysis of three political memoirs written by prominent figures of color: Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, and Sonia Sotomayor in order to provide the perspective of people that are actively involved in politics and impacted by these barriers. The findings of this study indicated that the process of creating a safe space for marginalized voters to participate in elections includes providing adequate access to voting, resources that address the myriad of emotions that affect voting practices, political engagement at the family and community level, and educational resources on voting issues. All of these factors highlight what resources need to be provided in order to focus on creating a safe and inclusive space for participation in the voting process in the Canal District of San Rafael.