Another development we missed out on while we've been away is the key victories for voting rights that went down in North Carolina and more recently in Texas. We don't want to sound too victorious here - state voter laws have a lot of ground to make up after the landmark Voting Rights Act was gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013, allowing too many states to pass bills that tore apart important protections for traditionally disenfranchised voters. We do want to celebrate what happened last month when North Carolina's 4th Court of Appeals handed down a ruling that overturned one type of these restrictive laws, one that installed discriminatory requirements for voter identification at the polling booth - which many say is a blatant case of racially motivated voter suppression. And in Texas, where backers of restrictive voter ID laws were forced to accept an out-of-court deal (which is now pending judicial approval) to ignore the law and allow the November elections to proceed without the cumbersome voter ID requirements. All this comes as Donald Trump amps up his recent claims that the November elections are “rigged,” citing knowledge of plans to commit voter fraud in order to defeat him at the polls. While we are being told that voter fraud is a definite concern, studies suggest otherwise since a US person is more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit in-person voter fraud.  And even if it were a real concern, the laws that are clearly meant to disenfranchise minorities or lower income voters shouldn’t be the remedy to fraud. 

comments powered by Disqus