minority voters

GOP Voter Suppression and the Threat to Democrats

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Voter suppression is a well-documented fact of life in American politics. The GOP has welded it as a potent weapon to assure its continued domination of American politics. The even more terrifying reality is that voter suppression has the force of law behind it. Kemp in Georgia was the crudest example of that. As secretary of state, he could legally make the call about which votes could and couldn’t be counted. The lawsuits that were filed against his blatant voter suppression were at best stopgap efforts to blunt some of the damage.

Election 2016: Why the Ghosts of ‘Shelby’ Still Haunt Us

Charles F. Coleman Jr.

To weather this storm without further casualty, our community must commit itself toward being steadfast and vigilant. First, we absolutely must re-engage the strategy of grassroots voter-registration drives. Sounds old school, but the effort must be doubled because the finish line has been moved, and the hurdles raised. There is hardly any argument that this is fair; it is the unfortunate result of having a Supreme Court where privilege blinds those in power to the realities of race in modern-day America. 

New Voting Laws Block Many Elders, Women, Minorities

Paul Kleyman

“Voter ID laws disadvantaging older persons place a burden on the voting rights of those most likely to participate in the electoral process,” said Daniel Kohrman, a senior attorney with the AARP Foundation Litigation office in Washington, D.C. That’s because older citizens vote at greater percentages than younger people. A total of 33 states have laws requesting or requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls this year. (West Virginia's new law goes into effect in 2018). 

Hillary Clinton, a Champion of Voting Rights

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson

Arguing that every citizen should have the right to vote, Clinton argued the common sense position that we should do what we can to make voting easier, not make it harder. She called for restoring the Voting Rights Act, to ensure pre-screening of election law changes that potentially discriminate against classes of voters. She embraced the bipartisan presidential commission recommendations for expanding early absentee and mail voting and for ensuring that no one waits more than 30 minutes to cast a vote.

The Midterm Elections: What Issues Are Most Important to African-American Women Voters?

Charles D. Ellison

Making sense of high-profile House, Senate and gubernatorial races this tight will mean breaking down every voting bloc into the microscopic bits of data to parse through in the postmortem. And of all the big mysteries that will be closely watched and dissected on Nov. 4, few will be as anxiously anticipated as the exit polling for women voters—since they were 53 percent of the electorate in 2012. 

Black Voters Face New Hindrances in the South

Freddie Allen

Last summer, the United States Supreme Court invalidated the Section 4 coverage formula in the Voting Rights Act that required jurisdictions with a demonstrated history of voter discrimination to “pre-clear” any changes in voting laws with the Justice Department of a federal court. The ruling effectively neutered Section 5 of the VRA.“Four states formerly covered by Section 5 of the VRA – Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina and Georgia – rank as the worst offenders."

Supreme Court’s Voting Rights Decision Contradicts Arizona Ruling

Valeria Fernández

The Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Voting Rights Act last week, only two weeks after ruling that an Arizona law requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote is unconstitutional. The Court’s decision last Tuesday and the idea underpinning it – that voter suppression of ethnic minority and poor voters is no longer an issue that warrants the same federal protections as it once did – sits at odds with their ruling on the Arizona voter ID law.

Election Diary: My Time With the Obama Campaign

Jordan Fraade

The first sign that things were going wrong was the stream of locals coming into the office and asking if this was where they were supposed to vote. Scores of people didn’t know their polling places, either because they had forgotten or no one had told them in the first place, so they just found the nearest building with an Obama sign and assumed they had found it. Feeling remarkably less bilingual than I’d hoped, I explained to all of them that we were a campaign office and immediately got to work looking up each one’s polling place. 

Team Romney is Struggling to Connect with Latinos

Jason Margolis

Only three weeks ago, the president spoke at a high school in the heart of the Latino part of town. The hugely popular Mexican rock band Maná also played. More than 11,000 people showed up, some waiting five hours in the near 100-degree heat to get in. Mitt Romney won’t be able to match that enthusiasm among Nevada’s Latinos. But David Damore at UNLV says if Romney can peel away just 10 percent of Hispanic voters, that could make the difference in who wins Nevada. 

Voter Apathy May Hurt Obama in Virginia

Christina Downs

Because of the uncertainty of which way it will go, Virginia is considered a critical battleground state among others, including Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Despite concerns, those at the rally did not lack enthusiasm. Amy Rivera, who waited in line since 9 a.m. to make it to the rally, said Romney’s “47 percent” stance only further confirmed her suspicions. “He’s completely out of touch with what the people want.”

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