May 23, 2016

Virginia's White Supremacist Republicans Fight Voting Rights

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia Republicans are fighting tooth-and-nail to stop the restoration of voting rights of 100,000s of mostly black Virginia citizens.

"Virginia's 1901-1902 constitutional convention, which set up poll taxes, literacy tests and disenfranchisement for felons as barriers for African-American participation," is cited by election law scholar, A.E. Dick Howard, professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, who consulted with Gov. Terry McAuliffe in McAuliffe's continuing efforts to restore the voting rights of Virginians, (Nolan, Times-Dispatch).

As long as black Americans can vote, white supremacists in the Republican Party across the nation will do their worst to impede voting rights, often employing the deplorable tactics of Jim Crow-era laws and state constitutions like Virginia's.

Notes Laura Vozzella in the Washington Post: "Virginia is one of only a few states that permanently disenfranchise felons, a practice that McAuliffe and other Democrats trace back to the Jim Crow era since it disproportionately affects African Americans."

Virginia offers one example.

Wisconsin is another.

From the Beloit Daily News:

... A trial was held this week in federal court dealing with Voter ID and various other elections changes enacted since 2011. The plaintiffs argue the changes, taken together, suppress the votes of minorities, young people and others, particularly in urban areas. Several expert witnesses presented the results of academic studies supporting that argument.

But perhaps the most interesting testimony came from a former Republican aide to a Wisconsin senator who later chose not to seek re-election when his term expired. The aide testified to being present in a closed Republican caucus when legislators originally discussed passing the Voter ID bill. He said senators were 'giddy' at the prospect of what such a law could do to curtail turnout among certain groups of citizens, predicting it would make it easier for Republicans to win future elections.
 Wherever black folks vote, and Republicans rule the state legislature, no voter is safe.

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