19 votes

Georgia county to close seven of nine voting precincts, civil rights attorney calls it 'voter suppression'

9 comments

  1. [7]
    time
    Link
    They're not even being sneaky about this. They may as well be standing on the corner downtown yelling that black people shouldn't be allowed to vote. What are the consequences for doing this? How...

    "We're talking about a county that is 60 percent black. It's in the black belt and has twice the rate of African American population compared to the rest of the state. When you cut out 75% of those polling places, it's going to have an affect on African Americans and all but guarantee lower turnout," says Sena Young, Legal Director at the ACLU of Georgia.

    They're not even being sneaky about this. They may as well be standing on the corner downtown yelling that black people shouldn't be allowed to vote. What are the consequences for doing this? How can people fight back?

    12 votes
    1. dubteedub
      Link Parent
      The GOP has been extremely upfront in using voter suppression efforts to target minorities for years. When the Republican Supreme Court struck down the Voting Rights Act, it marked the end of...

      The GOP has been extremely upfront in using voter suppression efforts to target minorities for years. When the Republican Supreme Court struck down the Voting Rights Act, it marked the end of semblance for fair elections for minorities.

      Just take a look at how the GOP have used Voter ID as an example.

      The GOP claim that voter ID laws are used to counter voter fraud, but Trumps own voter fraud commission just announced there is no voter fraud issue in the US

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/08/03/the-most-bizarre-thing-ive-ever-been-a-part-of-trump-panel-found-no-voter-fraud-ex-member-says/

      The real reason they push thise laws is because Voter ID are one of the many tactics used by the GOP to suppress minority votes

      Scholars have been able to show that racial and ethnic minorities have less access to photo IDs, and extensive analysis reveals almost no evidence of voter fraud of the type ostensibly prevented by these laws.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/02/15/do-voter-identification-laws-suppress-minority-voting-yes-we-did-the-research/

      Supporters say that everyone should easily be able to get a photo ID and that the requirement is needed to combat voter fraud. But many election experts say that the process for obtaining a photo ID can be far more difficult than it looks for hundreds of thousands of people across the country who do not have the required photo identification cards. Those most likely to be affected are elderly citizens, African Americans, Hispanics and low-income residents.

      A recent voter-ID study by political scientists at the University of California at San Diego analyzed turnout in elections between 2008 and 2012 and found “substantial drops in turnout for minorities under strict voter ID laws.”

      “These results suggest that by instituting strict photo ID laws, states could minimize the influence of voters on the left and could dramatically alter the political leaning of the electorate,” the study concluded.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/getting-a-photo-id-so-you-can-vote-is-easy-unless-youre-poor-black-latino-or-elderly/2016/05/23/8d5474ec-20f0-11e6-8690-f14ca9de2972_story.html?utm_term=.49b88211bb6f

      One of the most comprehensive studies on the subject found only 31 individual cases of voter impersonation out of more than 1 billion votes cast in the United States since the year 2000. Researchers have found that reports of voter fraud are roughly as common as reports of alien abduction

      In particular, the court found that North Carolina lawmakers requested data on racial differences in voting behaviors in the state. "This data showed that African Americans disproportionately lacked the most common kind of photo ID, those issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)," the judges wrote.

      So the legislators made it so that the only acceptable forms of voter identification were the ones disproportionately used by white people. "With race data in hand, the legislature amended the bill to exclude many of the alternative photo IDs used by African Americans," the judges wrote. "The bill retained only the kinds of IDs that white North Carolinians were more likely to possess."

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/07/29/the-smoking-gun-proving-north-carolina-republicans-tried-to-disenfranchise-black-voters/

      10 votes
    2. [4]
      neu
      Link Parent
      Christ. I didn't even see an explanation why. I found this NYT article which has a bit more information. From the NYT article: And they won't until after this passes (if it does.) Then they will...

      One of the precincts the board plans to close actually has the MOST registered voters in Randolph County, and 95 percent of them are black.

      Christ. I didn't even see an explanation why. I found this NYT article which has a bit more information.

      From the NYT article:

      County elections board members did not immediately respond Wednesday to a phone message seeking comment on the proposal.

      And they won't until after this passes (if it does.) Then they will give some nonsense reason about lack of funding or something equally dumb. For this Congressional District, both the Republican and Democratic candidates ran unopposed, so I am just going to guess that they are going to claim they are closing them due to lack of voter turnout in the primaries. Of course, if this is the plan, they know full well Democratic support would be overwhelming in November.

      In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court rolled back Voting Rights Act requirements that required many jurisdictions to receive permission before changing ways people are allowed to vote. They used to have to prove the voting changes weren't discriminatory, but that's no longer the case.

      Wait, what? Is there legitimate reasoning for this?

      In addition to statewide offices, Randolph County voters will also vote for state legislative seats in November. All nine polling locations were used during this year's primary and Republican run-off, so it is unclear why the locations would be closed down, Andrea Young said.

      Sanford Bishop is the current Representative for Georgia's Second Congressional District (the district for Randolph County) and has been since 1993. He is favored by 6 six points according to Wikipedia. I think this is an attempt to flip the seat to Herman West.

      4 votes
      1. dubteedub
        Link Parent
        Another important note on the topic of Goergia closing polling places is that this is not a one-off incident. It was reported just a couple of days before the 2016 Presidential election that the...

        Another important note on the topic of Goergia closing polling places is that this is not a one-off incident.

        It was reported just a couple of days before the 2016 Presidential election that the the Southern States closed down at least 868 polling places prior to the election.

        https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/4/13501120/vote-polling-places-election-2016

        Republicans did this to make it suppress minority voting and only were allowed to do so because the Republican Supreme Court struck down the Voting Rights Act.

        3 votes
      2. [2]
        dubteedub
        Link Parent
        The Republicans on the court were upset that Congress had reauthorized the Voting Rights Act nearly unanimously several times and claimed it was "racial entitlement". Bert Rein, the lawyer for...

        Wait, what? Is there legitimate reasoning for this?

        The Republicans on the court were upset that Congress had reauthorized the Voting Rights Act nearly unanimously several times and claimed it was "racial entitlement".

        Some of its provisions, though, including Section Five, would expire unless renewed, as they have been several times—most recently in 2006, after a debate and discussion of possible amendments. It passed the Senate 98–0, and the House 390–33. Scalia thought that the widening margin spoke to a sorry situation. “But that’s—that’s a problem that I have,” he said, after the Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said that Congress had made a judgment that voting rights still needed to be protected. “This last enactment, not a single vote in the Senate against it. And the House is pretty much the same.” Scalia continued, "Now, I don’t think that’s attributable to the fact that it is so much clearer now that we need this. I think it is attributable, very likely attributable, to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement. It’s been written about. Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes."

        Bert Rein, the lawyer for Shelby County, Alabama, which brought the suit was asked if Section 5 was passed due to racial entitlement and he responded saying:

        So to that extent, as the intervenor said, yes, it was intended to protect those who had been discriminated against.

        As everyone agrees, it’s been very effective, Section 5 has done its work. People are registering and voting

        https://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson/in-voting-rights-scalia-sees-a-racial-entitlement

        In fact, there majority opinion claims all but claimed that racism no longer exists and that the law was no longer needed because "Our country has changed."

        But history did not end in 1965. By the time the Act was reauthorized in 2006, there had been 40 more years of it. In assessing the “current need[]” for a preclearance system that treats States differently from one another today, that history cannot be ignored. During that time, largely because of the Voting Rights Act, voting tests were abolished, disparities in voter registration and turnout due to race were erased, and African-Americans attained political office in record numbers.

        They acknowledge the good work the law had done in equalizing the playing field, and then somehow used that as justification that the law was no longer needed.

        https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/06/25/us/annotated-supreme-court-decision-on-voting-rights-act.html

        Republicans know that the bill protected minority voting rights, and that is exactly why the Court struck it down.

        2 votes
        1. onyxleopard
          Link Parent
          Yes, the right to vote is a racial entitlement—it’s in the damned Fifteenth Amendment! Leave it to Republicans to flout the most basic rights in the Constitution whenever they have the opportunity.

          The Republicans on the court were upset that Congress had reauthorized the Voting Rights Act nearly unanimously several times and claimed it was "racial entitlement".

          Yes, the right to vote is a racial entitlement—it’s in the damned Fifteenth Amendment! Leave it to Republicans to flout the most basic rights in the Constitution whenever they have the opportunity.

          3 votes
    3. demifiend
      Link Parent
      I have an idea, but it's basically the same idea that Huey Newton and Bobby Seale had back in the 1960s. Black people need to arm themselves, they need to organize, and they need to demonstrate...

      What are the consequences for doing this? How can people fight back?

      I have an idea, but it's basically the same idea that Huey Newton and Bobby Seale had back in the 1960s. Black people need to arm themselves, they need to organize, and they need to demonstrate that they will claim their rights as American citizens by any means necessary.

      And they might have to shoot some racist white dudes, but that's OK. Tyrannicide is not murder.

      1 vote
  2. [2]
    zaluzianskya
    Link
    Republicans are doing this all over the country. I live in a blue pocket of a red state, with more black voters than the rural red districts, and mysteriously it's only this area that needs...

    Republicans are doing this all over the country. I live in a blue pocket of a red state, with more black voters than the rural red districts, and mysteriously it's only this area that needs precincts closed. For some reason.

    2 votes
    1. dubteedub
      Link Parent
      Yup, its been a common tactic for the GOP since the Republican Supreme Court struck down the Voting Rights Act. See my comment here about how Republicans closed at least 868 polling places in the...

      Yup, its been a common tactic for the GOP since the Republican Supreme Court struck down the Voting Rights Act.

      See my comment here about how Republicans closed at least 868 polling places in the South just in advance of the 2016 election

      https://tildes.net/~news/55a/georgia_county_to_close_7_of_9_voting_precincts_civil_rights_attorney_calls_it_voter_suppression#comment-1h4x

      2 votes