Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Restricting the vote

With the Supreme Court cutting off the Voting Rights Act of 1965 at its knees by declaring that the formula used to determine which jurisdictions must get pre-clearance to modify elections laws is out-of-date and must be redrawn, I have a couple of questions.

Just what does it mean to dilute the minority vote? Are we diluting the minority vote when we draw districts that resemble snakes or spiders in order to concentrate minority voters? Are we diluting the minority vote if we draw districts whose demographics mirror those of the county or state?

Should we be looking at laws that impede or encourage voting among minorities or should we be looking at the outcomes of those elections?

One vote is one vote whether that voter be white, black, Latino or Asian. One vote is one vote whether that voter be a man or a woman.

The real challenge before us are the states that require (or want to require) voters to present government-issued ID either to register or to vote. The real challenge before us are the states who are attempting to limit early voting or who place a disproportionate number of polling stations in affluent areas. The real challenge before us are the states who continue to disenfranchise people with felony convictions who have served their time.

It's no mystery why states are attempting to make it harder for people to vote. Just take a look at which states are proposing such legislation. They are Republican-leaning states whose leaders know the only way to hold on to power is to make it harder and harder for those folks who would vote against them to get to the polls.

The challenge is to make people see these restrictive laws for what they are - an organized attempt to prevent our fellow citizens from exercising their right to choose their leaders.

1 comment:

nidefatt said...

Huh? There's more to democracy than federal elections. If you set it up so that blacks are 5% of the vote in their district when you could have placed them in a different district where they'd be at 30%, you're diluting their vote so that their representation on things from school boards to state government will be erased. This isn't difficult math. Wake up.