Yesterday, November 13th, the Committee on House Administration’s Election Subcommittee released a scathing, 144-page report entitled, “Voting Rights and Election Administration in the United States of America." The following statement is from Nancy Abudu, Deputy Legal Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“The report released by Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) and the Committee on House Administration’s Election Subcommittee is a forceful and clear-eyed wake up call to the realities of American election discrimination and suppression in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby v. Holder decision. There can be no doubt that, since Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act was rendered toothless, we have seen a proliferation of discriminatory and suppressive tactics employed by elected leaders with the absolute aim of limiting the voting participation of minority communities. This is especially true here in the Deep South.
“The report cites specific examples of voter purges, voter ID laws and polling place closures, among many other tactics, that would previously have been prevented from implementation by federal law, and which have demonstrably reduced voter turnout among minority voters. The rationales and excuse-making of conservative politicians who have argued in the years since Shelby that their goals were directed at the myth of voter fraud are proven false in painstaking detail.
“The right to vote is under attack in this country. The most effective way to stem the tide is for Congress to pass legislation that strengthens the Voting Rights Act and protects against the onslaught of voter suppression that has erupted throughout the country. Failure to do so will result in thousands of additional disenfranchised voters and the continued erosion of the fabric of our democracy.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center is fighting to expand and protect voting rights across the Deep South. In Mississippi, we are on trial to end the state’s lifetime voting ban for people with disqualifying offenses. We filed suit in Florida to challenge the modern-day poll tax that disproportionately impacts low-income women of color and reverses the will of the people who approved Amendment 4 with nearly 65 percent of the vote in 2018. In Alabama, we’ve helped more than two thousand returning citizens navigate the state’s convoluted rights restoration process. And, in March of this year, we celebrated in Louisiana as many returning citizens became eligible to vote for the first time under a law we helped pass in the state legislature.
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