Tag Archives: Voters Rights Act

With Voting Rights Protections Gutted, Polling Places Shuttered on ‘Massive Scale’

‘Polling place closures are a particularly common and pernicious tactic for disenfranchising voters of color,’ says civil rights group

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 11-4-2016.

Report documents "massive closures" of polling places since Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. (Photo: Sharon M Leon/flickr/cc)

Report documents “massive closures” of polling places since Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. (Photo: Sharon M Leon/flickr/cc)

Voters in U.S. counties previously covered by the Voting Rights Act (VRA) will have at least 868 fewer places to cast ballots in the 2016 election than they did previously, according to a new analysis released Friday.

In fact, the report (pdf) from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights finds that in the wake of the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision gutting the VRA, “[c]ounties and states with known records of voting discrimination are closing polling places on a massive scale.” This is among other negative outcomes of the ruling, which Common Dreams has covered extensivelyContinue reading

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Court Rules NC Voter ID Law ‘Intentionally Discriminatory’

‘With surgical precision, North Carolina tried to eliminate voting practices disproportionately used by African-Americans’

By Nika Knight, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-29-2016

A federal appeals court on Friday struck down North Carolina’s controversial voter ID law, ruling that the 2013 law was created “with discriminatory intent.”

Civil rights groups hailed the decision as a major victory.

“With surgical precision, North Carolina tried to eliminate voting practices disproportionately used by African-Americans. This ruling is a stinging rebuke of the state’s attempt to undermine African-American voter participation, which had surged over the last decade,” said Dale Ho, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Voting Rights Project. “It is a major victory for North Carolina voters and for voting rights.” Continue reading

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Supreme Court Quietly Denies North Carolina Redistricting Delay

Congressional districts must be redrawn, delaying elections for months. ‘What a mess in North Carolina,’ writes voting rights expert.

By Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 2-20-2016

A lower court ruling issued earlier this month will be left intact and elections in the state's 1st and 12th districts, both majority black, will be paused until new maps are approved. (Photo: Matt Wade/flickr/cc)

A lower court ruling issued earlier this month will be left intact and elections in the state’s 1st and 12th districts, both majority black, will be paused until new maps are approved. (Photo: Matt Wade/flickr/cc)

Late Friday night, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to stay a ruling that ordered two North Carolina congressional districts to be redrawn.

According to the Raleigh News & Observer, that means a lower court ruling issued earlier this month will be left intact and elections in the state’s 1st and 12th districts, both majority black, will be paused until new maps are approved.

The order, which is one of the first significant actions the court has taken since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last week, was issued in a one-line ruling with little explanation. Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSBlog reports: Continue reading

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Thousands Rally in North Carolina for ‘Moral Imperative’ of Voting Rights

“The right to vote is at the heart of our democracy,” declares Rev. Barber

By Jon Queally, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 2-13-2016

(Photo: Twitter/ Roberta Penn ‏@StellaDean)

(Photo: Twitter/ Roberta Penn ‏@StellaDean)

Thousands of people marched and rallied in the frigid streets of Raleigh, North Carolina on Saturday morning to demand a restoration of voting rights and voice broad support for a new progressive agenda to counter the current policies of Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican-controlled state legislature.

Organized by the Move Forward Together Movement and the North Carolina Chapter of the NAACP, led by Rev. William Barber III, the demonstration attracted a diverse coalition of individuals and organizations who say the systematic attack on state services—including healthcare and education—along with eroded democratic control and new voting restrictions, have disempowered and further marginalized the state’s most vulnerable populations. Continue reading

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‘Recipe for Disaster’ as US Supreme Court Refuses Challenge to Voter ID Law

Written by Lauren McCauley, Staff Writer for CommonDreams, published on March 23, 2015.

US Supreme Court

US Supreme Court

In a move that will impact hundreds of thousands of voters and may carry national implications, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a challenge to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s restrictive voter identification law.

Immediately after the high court rejected, without comment, to hear the case of Frank v. Walker, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed an emergency motion with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asking that the court stop the law from taking immediate effect. In Wisconsin, voting is currently underway in the April 7 general election as absentee ballots have already been sent to voters and early voting began Monday morning. ACLU warned that if the law is immediately enacted, some 300,000 Wisconsin voters will be impacted.

Continue reading

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Same As It Ever Was

Fifty years ago today, 600 civil rights marchers started walking east on US 80 out of Selma, Alabama. The march was led by Reverend Hosea Williams of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

The march had two goals that should sound familiar to all of us; to protest the obstacles to voting put in place by state and local officials and to protest police violence against the black community.

Alabama police attack Selma-to-Montgomery Marchers, March 7,1965. Photo by Federal Bureau of Investigation [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Alabama police attack Selma-to-Montgomery Marchers, March 7,1965. Photo by Federal Bureau of Investigation [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The protest went well until they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge and left Selma. There, they met a wall of troopers and “deputized” locals – County Sheriff Jim Clark had issued an order for all white males in Dallas County over the age of twenty-one to report to the courthouse that morning to be deputized. Continue reading

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