This paper demonstrates how principles of racialisation and marginalisation help us understand absences and invisibility of marginalised minority groups in frameworks designed to ensure special rights of access to democratic institutions. Using the case of Roma in Slovenia, it highlights how the political agency of marginalised communities can be restricted even when their special case for rights are acknowledged. In Slovenia a series of special measures are applied asymmetrically to partially include Roma but these always fall short of the representational rights granted to the other recognised minorities. This paper analyses asymmetry and exceptionality in existing protection provisions, arguing that they result not from oversights in democratic institutional design but the consequence of marginalisation and racialised perceptions of Roma as undeserving. Such tropes explain the unequal treatment of Roma at the birth of the state and continue to explain their continued halfway house status in democratic institutions.