Photo of Chris Shenton

Chris Shenton

  • Hosted by Southern Coalition for Social Justice
  • Sponsored by Latham & Watkins LLP, The Clorox Company Foundation
  • Service location Durham, North Carolina
  • Law school New York University School of Law
  • Issue area Racial Justice, Voting Rights/Electoral Participation
  • Fellowship class year 2022
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Chris will use litigation, state and local administrative advocacy, education, and monitoring to challenge administrative disenfranchisement in the electoral process.

Chris’ project challenges “administrative disenfranchisement,” reframing election administration issues from harmless administrative errors to serious barriers in the democratic process. Mistakes in election administration are popularly conceived (to the extent they are conceived at all) as harmless scriveners’ errors that balance out in all but the closest elections, which are protected by careful and deliberate recounts. But in reality, these administrative disenfranchisements pose a threat to voting rights, which is disproportionately experienced in communities of color and poor communities. These problems are often baked in well in advance of an election, through decisions made for administrative convenience, without considering how they will impact the voters whom they are meant to serve.

Fellowship Plans

Chris will use a variety of legal strategies, including public records requests, trainings for community groups and elections staff, administrative advocacy, and litigation, in combination with well-established relationships with community groups and election administrators alike, to ensure that the experiences and needs of voters are factored into the decision-making calculus for designing and administering election systems.

I went to law school to help make our democratic systems work better, for more people, and with no one left behind. Too often our elections aren’t built to include the people whose will they are supposed to reflect; I am incredibly honored to put my shoulder to the wheel in this project to end administrative disenfranchisement, and help ensure that all voters have the freedom and opportunity to claim an equal stake in shaping the future of their communities.

Chris Shenton /
2022 Equal Justice Works Fellow

Meet Other Fellows Like Chris

View All

Photo of Ronak Patel

Ronak Patel

Host: Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Sponsor: Cooley LLP

Current Fellow

Photo of Uruj Sheikh

Uruj Sheikh

Host: NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Sponsor: Latham & Watkins LLP

Current Fellow

Mitchell D. Brown

Host: Southern Coalition for Social Justice

Sponsor: The Ottinger Family Foundation

Photo of Idalmis Vaquero

Idalmis Vaquero

Host: Communities for a Better Environment

Sponsor: Stern-Hughes Family Fund, The Ottinger Family Foundation

Current Fellow