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Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in 2016 Elections, 2016 Presidential Election, Law, Politics | 0 comments

The struggle against Republican efforts to restrict voting

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It’s been going on for years — decades — and the Republican party continues to work, too often successfully and with the support of an embarrassing Supreme Court majority, to put barriers between eligible voters and the voting booth.

The state-level action also comes amid a renewed push in Congress—mainly by Democrats—to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act and respond to the Supreme Court ruling, 50 years after the landmark law was first enacted. …With another huge national election just over a year away, the prospects for federal legislation appear dim. The bigger fights are occurring over laws that make it harder, rather than easier, to vote. …Atlantic

That action comes after years of watching selected groups — many of color and almost all working class — being treated like scum by a party dominated by America’s white patriarchy which has found it increasingly difficult to win elections that include votes from all eligible voters.

Russell Berman, writing in the Atlantic, is not particularly optimistic about the outcome.

Voting-rights advocates are playing defense in Texas and North Carolina, two states that implemented strict voter-ID laws and other restrictions after the Supreme Court ruling in 2013 invalidated a key section of the Voting Rights Act. The North Carolina trial began in mid-July and centers not on the state’s ID requirement, but rather, on whether the law that ended same-day registration and preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds, and scaled back early voting, constitutes discrimination against younger voters and minorities. In Texas, organizations including the Brennan Center are challenging the state’s photo-ID requirement for a second time. They initially won their challenge after the law was first passed in 2011, but after Texas went ahead with the new rules following the Supreme Court decision two years later, the advocates brought a second suit under a different section of the Voting Rights Act. They are now awaiting a ruling from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. …Berman,Atlantic

So it comes as a surprise for some that Oklahoma, a red state, is seeking to support and encourage participation in elections.

Last week, the coalition and Oklahoma’s election board announced an agreement in which the state committed to asking any person who interacts with welfare agencies whether they want to register to vote and then to helping them through the process. That includes assistance with helping them vote online. The state also agreed to establish a new website with information about the National Voter Registration Act. …Berman,Atlantic

Cross-posted from Prairie Weather


graphic via shutterstock.com