Voting Rights Act

Think for yourself

…among the many provision of the Voting Rights Act was the prohibition on the notorious poll tax, which was specifically designed to eliminate large (and poor) groups of otherwise eligible voters from casting their ballot. In inflation-adjusted dollars, your average 1965 poll tax cost $10.64. In contrast, today it can cost $25 for a birth certificate, up to $100 for a driver’s license, $97 for a passport, and over $200 for naturalization papers, all of which could be required under various versions of voter ID laws. More →

Suppressing Votes By Law–Bill Moyers

this post jumps right in to the middle of a conversation regarding voter suppression and Photo ID laws.

KEESHA GASKINS: Again, our research shows us that African American voters, Latino voters, voters over 65, young people 18 to 24 are all in populations that lack this type of ID at rates well beyond the 11 percent of the general population.

BILL MOYERS: You have some startling statistics on your website. Of the states with the highest Hispanic population growth, seven have passed restrictive voting laws. Of the ten states with the highest black turnout, five have passed restrictive voting laws. Of the nine states covered by the Voting Rights Act, six passed restrictive voting laws.

You call it in your report the first rollback in voting rights since the Jim Crow era.

KEESHA GASKINS: Yes, and it is. I mean, when you look at the laws that were passed between 1865 and 1967, the laws that could be ascribed to, sort of, voting and voting rights, depending on how you count, were about 29 laws. In the last 18 months, 23 laws have passed in this country, in comparison between 18 months and that entire period. There has been a concerted effort to limit access to the polls during this period. And this is unprecedented since that time.

BILL MOYERS: Do you think that these efforts to select out certain voters, to discriminate against certain voters that one party or another might not like anything to do with race?

KEESHA GASKINS: It has to do with race because it’s clearly affecting voters of color in this country. The Department of Justice identified that, and pursuant to the Voting Rights Act said the laws in Texas, the laws in South Carolina were unfairly discriminatory. And so, whether or not it was the intention of those legislators to do so, the fact is these laws disproportionately impact voters based on race.

There is so much more to be read in this article, or you can watch the embedded video.  All you have to do is click here

“I Don’t Know What The Photo ID Law Says”

Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth Carole Aichele, testifying Tuesday during a state trial on the state’s controversial voter ID law, said she wasn’t sure about the details of the law, but stood by her unsupported claim that 99 percent of voters had valid identification.

…Aichele also couldn’t provide any evidence that 99 percent of voters already have a valid form of ID, as the state has claimed. CBS reported that when lawyers cited testimony from a Department of State official calling the number likely inaccurate, Aichele responded “I disagree.”

Aichele is a Republican. Her husband is Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s chief of staff. Corbett was recently forced to admit that he had no clue what type of ID was now required to vote under the new law he recently signed.

To read more about the know-nothings who are suppressing voters without knowing how or why, please click here

House Republicans Perpetuate Voter Fraud Myth, Fine With Disenfranchising Voters

“House Republicans criticized the Justice Department for challenging voter ID laws. The critical lawmakers believe that DOJ is acting in a partisan manner and that DOJ’s actions show that the Obama Administration is more concerned with winning in November than protecting against election fraud.”

That’s correct folks, Voter Suppression is just fine with Republicans in Washington.  But, of course it is.  ALEC Alumni Messrs. Boehner and Cantor are in charge.  And what Republican is looking forward to a visit from the “muscle” of the Cabal–a Tea Party challenger in the next primary.

But that’s just my opinion and I could be wrong. Please click here to read the extent to which the radical right will go to win this next Battle of the War for Control of the Government*–disenfranchise those who would stand in their way at the polls.  Prevent the Justice Department from doing it’s job.  What else is a House Republican to do?

*engaging Organized Labor early and get them to spend all of their money fighting for survival in WI, MI, OH, and IN, was the first skirmish of the war.

Chris Hayes On How The Republicans Intend To Prevent Millions From Voting

After one of the most powerful and courageous social movements in American history, one which took the lives of at least 40 people, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, LBJ famously signed the voting rights act in 1965 ending these practices.

“Wherever, by clear and objective standards, states and counties are using regulations, or laws, or tests to deny the right to vote, then they will be struck down. If it is clear that State officials still intend to discriminate, then Federal examiners will be sent in to register all eligible voters. When the prospect of discrimination is gone, the examiners will be immediately withdrawn. And, under this act, if any county anywhere in this Nation does not want Federal intervention it need only open its polling places to all of its people.”

It wasn’t until the passage of the Voting Rights Act, and the many amendments to it over the years that black people in the South and in some places outside the South could actually exercise their right to be full participating citizens in American democracy.

To read this entire article, a treatise on voting rights and the efforts to suppress them, please click hereThe article includes an embedded video.  If you prefer to watch the video and not read the entire report, it is posted to the VLTPVideoChannel, which you can access by clicking here

Instead of deafening roars of anger … silence on black vote

 

“I don’t sense that African-Americans are truly aware of what is in the process of happening or could happen to them,” says Rep. John Lewis, Democrat from Georgia. “People should be angry. There should be a sense of righteous indignation. African-Americans and people of good will, Latinos and young people, should be saying, ‘How dare you? The gall of you!’”

Voter ID laws add fresh insult to standing injury. And let no one be fooled by GOP claims that this is not political.

So where are we in all this? Silent, that’s where.
This is systemic injustice.  And yet …Silence.

From the barber shops, silence.
From the beauty parlors, silence.
From the pulpits, silence.

In the face of a naked attempt to steal not just an election, but a right that was purchased for us at a cost of bones and blood, silence. It’s happening now, right under our noses.

“And we’re too quiet,” says Lewis. “We’re just too quiet.”

To read the entire article by national columnist Leonard Pitts Jr., please click here

And please be sure to register to vote and then vote on November 6.  You can’t complain about racial injustice in our laws if you don’t do something to fight this.

 

Gov. Rick Scott Ignores DOJ Demand To End Voter Purge

Gov. Rick Scott (R) plans to ignore a Department of Justice demand that his administration stop purging its voter rolls in violation of federal law.

Janell Ross reports that Scott ordered election officials to continue the purge, even in the face of evidence that a disproportionate amount of names on the list are voters of color. In an initial list of 3000 voters the state suspects are non-citizens, blacks and Latinos were disproportionately represented. Analysis by the Miami Herald found nearly 60 percent of the people on the list to be Latino despite the fact that Latinos constitute just 13 percent of the state’s electorate.

To read more about how Florida has become one more state to ignore the Department of Justice and Federal Law, please click here

Justice Department Demands Florida Stop Purging Voter Rolls

Breaking News from TPM:

The Justice Department sent a letter to Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner Thursday evening demanding the state cease purging its voting rolls because the process it is using has not been cleared under the Voting Rights Act, TPM has learned.

DOJ also said that Florida’s voter roll purge violated the National Voter Registration Act, which stipulates that voter roll maintenance should have ceased 90 days before an election, which given Florida’s August 14 primary, meant May 16.

To read the rest of their breaking article, please click here