Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 04:06 am
Voter suppression - election strategy


Published May 11, 2021

Quote:
Voter suppression, in U.S. history and politics, any legal or extralegal measure or strategy whose purpose or practical effect is to reduce voting, or registering to vote, by members of a targeted racial group, political party, or religious community. The overwhelming majority of victims of voter suppression in the United States have been African Americans.

Voter suppression has been practiced in the United States since at least the era of Reconstruction (1865–77), when African Americans in the states of the former Confederacy were briefly able to exercise their newly won rights to vote; to run for local, state, and federal offices; and to serve on juries. The Fourteenth (1868) and Fifteenth (1870) amendments to the U.S. Constitution, along with a series of laws passed by a Republican-dominated Congress between 1866 and 1875, guaranteed U.S. citizenship and equal civil and legal rights to African Americans; specifically prohibited restricting or denying the right to vote on the basis of race; criminalized the terrorist activities of white supremacist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan; and authorized the use of federal troops to protect polling stations and to put down white supremacist violence. Relying on federal protection, African American voters elected hundreds of Black state representatives and 16 Black U.S. representatives and senators. By 1870 nearly all of the former Confederate states were controlled by the Republican Party.

Despite those gains, intimidation and violence against African American office holders and would-be voters in the South, including beatings and murders, was never completely eradicated. In the 1870s, Northern support for federal intervention in the Southern states to ensure racial equality began to wane, and a series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings, continuing into the 1890s, greatly limited the scope of Reconstruction-era constitutional amendments and civil rights laws. All of those factors combined to enable white Democrats to retake control of all but three Southern states by 1876. In 1877, disputed returns from the 1876 presidential election in those states figured in a secret deal by which Democrats supported the claim of the Republican presidential candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes, to their states’ electoral votes—giving Hayes a one-vote victory in the electoral college over Samuel J. Tilden—in exchange for a pledge by Hayes to withdraw all remaining federal troops from the South, thus effectively ending Reconstruction. During the subsequent three decades, Democratic-controlled Southern states passed laws and adopted state-constitutional amendments that effectively disenfranchised almost all African American voters in the South and imposed a rigid system of racial segregation there, Jim Crow, that would last until the mid-20th century.

Early tactics of voter suppression aimed at African Americans continued to be used through the first half of the 20th century. After Reconstruction, African Americans were prevented from voting (or from registering to vote) through intimidation, violence, poll taxes, literacy or comprehension tests (which were not applied to illiterate whites), “good character” tests, grandfather clauses (which in their original form restricted voting rights to the [male] descendants of persons who were eligible to vote prior to 1866 or 1867), whites-only primary elections, and outright fraud committed by white election officials. Poll taxes were eventually made unconstitutional in federal elections by the Twenty-fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1964) and in state and local elections by the Supreme Court in 1966. The practice of applying literacy tests to all, and only, Black voters was banned by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and literacy tests in general were suspended for certain jurisdictions under the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965. The Supreme Court struck down grandfather clauses in 1915 and whites-only primaries in 1944.

The VRA—along with the Civil Rights Act (1964) one of the two most important pieces of civil rights legislation in U.S. history—greatly increased voter registration and voting among Blacks in the South. A key element of the law, Section 5, required that certain jurisdictions (states or political subdivisions of states) obtain prior approval (“preclearance”) of any change to their electoral laws or procedures—generally by demonstrating to a federal court that the change “does not have the purpose and will not have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color.” Section 4(b) of the VRA identified as a “covered jurisdiction” (one to which the preclearance requirement would apply) any state or political subdivision of a state that, as of November 1964, imposed tests or other devices as a condition of registration or of voting and was characterized by voter registration or voter turnout below 50 percent of the voting-age population. The VRA’s preclearance requirement was effective in preventing jurisdictions with a history of voter discrimination (including nine mostly Southern states) from introducing new electoral restrictions that would have disproportionately reduced voting or voter registration among African Americans. In 2013, however, the Supreme Court declared in (Shelby County v. Holder) that Section 4(b) was unconstitutional, in part because the discriminatory voting practices by which it identified covered jurisdictions had been almost completely eradicated, in the Court’s view, in the decades since the VRA was passed. Without Section 4(b), the preclearance requirement of Section 5 (which, notably, the Court did not strike down) was essentially inoperative. In practice, formerly covered jurisdictions were free to implement whatever electoral laws and procedures they chose, and whatever discriminatory effects those measures might produce could be halted or reversed only after the fact, through lawsuits alleging violations of constitutional rights or of antidiscrimination and voting-rights laws, including the VRA itself.

Soon after the Shelby County decision was handed down, several formerly covered states announced or implemented new electoral restrictions and procedures that had been (or likely would have been) blocked through the preclearance requirement. In the first five years after the decision, scores of voting laws were introduced in at least 23 states, far more than the number of covered jurisdictions under the VRA. Those measures included voter ID laws of varying strictness—some requiring the presentation of an acceptable photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, at polling stations as a condition of voting (some of those measures were passed along with other provisions that closed, or reduced the hours of, state offices where acceptable IDs could be obtained); onerous restrictions on voter registration; the closure or relocation of polling stations that had served predominantly African American or minority voters, forcing them to travel long distances or to wait in long lines to cast their ballots; the elimination or reduction of early voting periods; burdensome requirements for obtaining or submitting mail-in (including absentee) ballots; restrictions or outright bans on voter registration drives; the elimination of same-day voter registration; and the permanent disenfranchisement of convicted felons. Other voter suppression efforts that became more common after Shelby County were large-scale purges of voter rolls (ostensibly to remove voters whose addresses could not be verified) and voter caging, a related tactic in which a political party sends nonforwardable mass mailings to registered voters who are unlikely to support the party’s candidate or agenda and then uses any returned mailings as a basis for challenging the voters’ registration or right to vote.

Although members of both major political parties in the United States have participated in voter suppression efforts (notably Southern Democrats from the Reconstruction era to the mid-20th century), most contemporary instances of voter suppression have taken place in Republican-controlled states. The usual justification offered for such measures is that they help to ensure the integrity of elections by preventing individual voter fraud, which Republicans typically claim is a serious problem. As Democratic critics have pointed out, however, individual voter fraud in the United States is nearly nonexistent. The real purpose of restrictive voting laws, they insist, is to enable Republicans to win office or to stay in power in jurisdictions where less than a majority of likely voters supports their candidate or agenda.

During the campaign for the presidential election of 2020, which coincided with the onset and spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, governors and election officials in several states postponed primary elections and changed election procedures to enable voters to minimize or avoid potential exposure to the virus in voting lines or polling stations. Such measures included extending voter registration deadlines and early voting periods, loosening or eliminating requirements for obtaining or casting mail-in ballots, and extending postelection deadlines for receipt of mail-in ballots. Those measures and others were challenged in court by Republicans on the grounds that they usurped the constitutional authority of state legislatures or invited voter fraud (none of the suits, however, presented any serious evidence of fraud). Democrats argued in response that the changes were constitutional and that Republican opposition, based on the accurate assumption that Democrats were more likely than Republicans to use mail-in ballots during the pandemic, amounted to a form of voter suppression. The vast majority of the Republican challenges were eventually dismissed.

In the first few months after the presidential election, which resulted in the victory of the Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, over the Republican incumbent, Donald Trump, Republicans in state legislatures across the country introduced more than 350 bills designed to roll back pandemic-related changes to election procedures and to further restrict voting access in ways that would disproportionately affect minorities, young people, and other Democratic-leaning constituencies. Sponsors of the new restrictions defended them by citing Trump’s patently false assertion that Democrats had stolen the presidential election through massive voter fraud. The bills included new limits on obtaining or casting mail-in ballots, stricter voter ID requirements, additional restrictions on voter registration, prohibitions of ballot collection and delivery by third parties, reductions in early-voting periods, and legislation that would grant poll watchers greater autonomy and closer access to voters and poll workers, thereby increasing the likelihood of voter intimidation and election interference at polling stations. Some bills even criminalized the act of giving food or water to people waiting for hours in long voting lines.

Many of the bills would also give partisan state legislatures significant control over election administration while reducing the traditional administrative authorities of the executive branch and of state and local (county or municipal) election boards. For example, Georgia’s omnibusElection Integrity Act of 2021,” signed into law in March, included provisions that replaced the secretary of state as chair of the State Election Board with an appointee chosen by the legislature, effectively giving the legislature control of the board. (Notably, following the 2020 presidential election in Georgia, which Biden won by approximately 12,000 votes, the state’s governor and secretary of state rejected repeated calls by Republican legislators and by Trump himself to invalidate Biden’s victory.) The law also empowered the state board to investigate and temporarily replace a local electionsuperintendent” (defined as a local election board or a probate judge with the authority to supervise local elections) with an appointee of its choosing, though no more than four superintendents could be suspended concurrently. Democratic leaders and other critics of the law asserted that this provision enabled the legislature to take effective control of local decision making on matters such as polling station locations and closures, challenges to voters’ eligibility, and, crucially, the certification of election results. Similar bills relating to election administration were introduced in several other state legislatures and enacted into law in some states.

Another political strategy that is sometimes treated as a form of voter suppression is racial or partisan gerrymandering (the drawing of electoral districts by state legislatures in such a way as to dilute the voting power of members of a certain racial group or political party), though it does not specifically prevent any person from voting or registering to vote. By “packing” large numbers of a racial group or political party into a few districts or by “cracking” (dispersing) them among several districts, such gerrymanders can ensure that the targeted group or party will be permanently underrepresented in a state legislature or in Congress relative to their absolute numbers in the state—which is also the goal of voter suppression. Racial gerrymandering is prohibited by Section 2 of the VRA. (Interestingly, federal law does permit the creation ofmajority-minoritydistricts as a means of combating racial gerrymandering by cracking.) In 2019 the Supreme Court ruled, in Rucho v. Common Cause, that partisan gerrymandering is apolitical questionthat is beyond the power of the federal courts to address.


https://www.britannica.com/topic/voter-suppression
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 824 • Replies: 43

 
Real Music
 
  3  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 04:50 am
GOP Election Misinformation Scheme Violates Federal Law: Voting Rights Attorney.

Marc Elias, voting rights attorney, talks with Rachel Maddow about why Americans can't rely on the courts to defend voting rights against Republican infringement indefinitely, and why he thinks the Arizona election misinformation operation is violating federal law.

Published June 3, 2021

0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  3  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 04:56 am
GOP Repeats Voter Suppression History While Attacking The Teaching Of It.

“They are digging in the archives for methods of voter suppression and targeted attacks on enfranchisement of Black and brown folks—while also attacking the teaching of the history that would illuminate to people why that effort is so dangerous,” says Chris Hayes.

Published June 9, 2021

0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 08:59 am
How many of these threads are you going to start Real Music? You already started a thread on this exact topic.

This is a one-sided partisan political argument. It can be handled in one thread.
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 09:49 am
@maxdancona,
I like hi discoveries. I can see how the RW and the "Lashes" of this forum try to make believe what they aint.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 10:42 am
@farmerman,
I am not sure I know what you mean Farmerman.

Are you saying that this is an "Us vs. Them" world, and that Lash is one of "Them"?

I assume that Lash is a human being. I do wish that RealMusic and Lash and others would show more propensity for independent thought. Everyone just lines up on their predictable partisan sides on issue after issue. Anyone who steps out of narrow ideological boundaries here seems to be disparaged (although I think stepping out of bounds this way is a good thing).

Are you saying somethng else?
snood
 
  6  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 11:03 am
@maxdancona,
Why is it any skin off your nose how many threads there are on a subject? It’s like you have control issues, or something.
snood
 
  5  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 11:06 am
White privilege is the ability to pass laws that prevent everyone from learning history that makes white people feel uncomfortable.
Mame
 
  3  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 11:14 am
@snood,
Agreed. We're having an issue here now about including education about the Residential Schools. It absolutely should be taught. It's a part of the history of this country. What also should be taught is how we treated the Chinese (head taxes) and Japanese (internment during the war).
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 11:14 am
@snood,
People posting predictable political propaganda pushing partisan points promoting preexisting positions.

Doesn't being in such perfect ideological lockstep get boring?
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 11:16 am
@snood,
snood wrote:

White privilege is the ability to pass laws that prevent everyone from learning history that makes white people feel uncomfortable.


Making white people uncomforatable is a good way to lose elections. Even if the voting is fair... White people still get the privilege to vote.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 11:37 am
@Mame,
Mame wrote:

Agreed. We're having an issue here now about including education about the Residential Schools. It absolutely should be taught. It's a part of the history of this country. What also should be taught is how we treated the Chinese (head taxes) and Japanese (internment during the war).


There is a balance here. I agree that these things should be taught.

However, you can't have an education system that disparages the background and families of its own students. History is a narrative, and a good history class teaches students to see history from different perspectives and how to question each.

The single sided and factually problematic historical narratives comeing from the left (i.e. the 1619 project) aren't good education by themselves. If this narrative is taught as part of several perspectives in which students are allowed to question... that is another thing.
snood
 
  4  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 12:52 pm
When I hear people talking about how history should be told from many different perspectives, I think about a couple of things. I think about recent events for which there were only one true
interpretation.
There were not “both sides” to the Charleston Neo-Nazi march - there was a planned demonstration by a large group of racist white men carrying torches and spouting anti- Semitic slogans.

There are not multiple ways to see the attack on the Capitol on 1/6. It was a riot that had been openly encouraged and instigated by Donald Trump and populated by Trump supporters for the purpose of disrupting the process of certifying the election results.


There’s an old saying (sometimes attributed to Winston Churchill) that history is written by the victors. That’s been clearly evident in American public school history classes. The narrative was well known by all - from our independence from England straight through to our growth into the most powerful and most free country on earth - long may it wave, hallelujah.

Now that narrative about the “land of the free and home of the brave” is being challenged. The name of the 1619 Project is being repeated like some scary voodoo incantation to scare people. Just like the name - just the name, mind you- of Critical Race Theory. They don’t really bother with trying to explain what it is in those things that they disagree with, or what is untrue.

And we get admonitions that “you better not teach those things unless you teach alternative perspectives”.

What exactly are they so afraid of?

maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 01:08 pm
@snood,
Snood is using the word "Nazi" to try to stifle the debate. I don't consider myself a Nazi, and I certainly hold views with which without question Nazi's would disagree (including a support for immigrant rights and a belief in civil rights).

The Charleston march was extremist and hateful. Even in this extreme, there are more than one side. The role of free speech. I don't support the "Southern Heritage" arguments... but someone can support this argument without being a Nazi.

And... of course there are multiple ways to view the attack on the Capitol. There are lots people (probably most people) who participated in the protest without entering the capitol building. What do you do with these people. I assume we all agree they had the right to protest.

And there are mulitple ways to view BLM protesters throwing molotov cocktails into police cars.

I heard a commentator on NPR justifying the fact that someone had thrown a lit molotov cocktail into a police care. On NPR they were arguming that this clearly violent act shouldn't be punished. In the NPR piece this opinion was presented without any question or challenge.

I disagree with this rather extreme perspective. But I can also understand it.

-
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -3  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 01:14 pm
@snood,
snood wrote:
There were not "both sides" to the Charleston Neo-Nazi march - there was a planned demonstration by a large group of racist white men carrying torches and spouting anti- Semitic slogans.

The claim that the marchers were spouting antisemitic slogans is a progressive lie.

It does seem to be true that the march was planned by a racist organization, so you are right to that limited extent. However, the march was about an issue that many ordinary non-racist people care about. Perhaps that was a cynical ploy on the part of the racist organization that planned the march. But if so, progressives played right into their hands by denouncing everyone who cares about the issue as racist.

In the end, it was the racists who were the peaceful moderates, and it was the progressives who were the deranged extremists.

I would argue that the racists merely exposed the true nature of progressivism for the world to see.

I don't much agree with racists. But when they strike blows against progressivism, that is a good thing.


snood wrote:
There are not multiple ways to see the attack on the Capitol on 1/6. It was a riot that had been openly encouraged and instigated by Donald Trump and populated by Trump supporters for the purpose of disrupting the process of certifying the election results.

Characterizing a peaceful protest as a riot just shows how much progressives hate Freedom of Speech.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 01:18 pm
@snood,
Snood asks what am I afraid of. It is a good question. There are three things.

1) I am afraid when a single narrative becomes too politically powerful to question. Right now, it is dangerous to question any part of the Black Lives Matter movement..

If a professional, or a teacher or a writer who even supports civil rights questions any part of BLM, they literally put their professional career at risk.

2) I am afraid of the impact this has on education. In my opinion education should teach students to question and to think independently. When you present a singular narrative and prohibit any question, it turns out citizens who accept the current political trend without the ability to think critically.

3) And I am afraid for the extreme political division in our country. It is not healthy for a democracy to split into two parts that can't talk to each other.

Our political discourse is increasably becoming "us vs. them" where anyone on the other party is an enemy.

"Agree with me... or you are a nazi" is not a healthy way to bring about constructive discourse.

That is what I am afraid of.
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  3  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 02:54 pm
National Urban League leader on prospects for federal voting rights bill.

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin remains firm in his opposition to the For the People Act, despite the urging of civil rights leader at a meeting Tuesday. His opposition likely dooms the voting rights legislation in a closely divided Senate. Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, was at that meeting and joined CBSN to discuss how it went and what comes next.

Published June 9, 2021

0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 03:31 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Mame wrote:

Agreed. We're having an issue here now about including education about the Residential Schools. It absolutely should be taught. It's a part of the history of this country. What also should be taught is how we treated the Chinese (head taxes) and Japanese (internment during the war).


There is a balance here. I agree that these things should be taught.

However, you can't have an education system that disparages the background and families of its own students. History is a narrative, and a good history class teaches students to see history from different perspectives and how to question each.

The single sided and factually problematic historical narratives comeing from the left (i.e. the 1619 project) aren't good education by themselves. If this narrative is taught as part of several perspectives in which students are allowed to question... that is another thing.


You can teach what are KNOWN FACTS and then require students to write an essay. An essay involves reading accounts on both/all sides of the issue. I learned more in university writing essays than I did class.

But right now, these particular issues are not generally being taught. I learned about issues other than what I was specifically writing about because those issues, of course, arose in accounts. For example, in researching about the expansion of the railways, I learned about the various fears the Cdn government had vis-a-vis the desires the US had, the power the railways had, land-speculation, the use and abuse of the Chinese, the economic desires of the eastern manufacturing sectors, homesteading and land grants, etc.

Real Music
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 03:44 pm
@maxdancona,
Max, As I have previously stated to you:

1. I do welcome your opinion.

2. I also thank you for sharing your opinion.

3. I just don't particularly place any value on your opinion.

4. Your opinion simply has shown to not have any value.

5. But, please continue to express your opinion.



One side note:

1. I do get a chuckle from reading your silly postings.

2. So, maybe your postings have value after all.

3. That value being comical value.

4. But seriously, I like it when everyone gets to see for themselves the silliness in your postings.

5. I can just sit back and watch you be silly.

6. Wow!!! You really do entertain me with your never ending silliness.

7. Max, I truly thank you. Smile
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2021 04:31 pm
@Real Music,
I am glad you like my posts RM. That is very kind of you.

Don't worry, I am not going away.
 

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