US Elections 2016(16): Crunch time as Republicans resort to old tricks to suppress voter registration – Tola Adenle

October 16, 2016


Various practices have always been in place since post-slavery to ensure that African-Americans find it difficult to register to vote. While such acts were backed by various state legislation back then, such have been over-ridden by Federal laws since African-Americans got the right to vote. The practice has continued to modern times with various states,  Republican-governed states, using various methods to suppress African-Americans’ rights to vote by denying voter registrations to them.

For example, Florida’s deadline for this year’s general elections was overturned by a Federal Judge last week because of Hurricane Matthew despite Republican Governor Scott’s contrary decision.

And in 2011, the same state (Florida) under the same Gov. Scott “enacted a deadline for the submission of voter registration forms with penalties for late filing. The law ended the voter registration work by one organization, the League of Women Voters, whose spokesperson said, “Despite the fact that the League of Women Voters is one of the nation’s most respected civic organizations, with a 91-year history of registering and educating voters, we will be unable to comply with the egregious provisions contained in [this bill].” (Wikipedia).

Using State of Indiana Police to intimidate African-Americans, Trump’s Vice-Presidential candidate, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana has been accused by a Voter Registration Project group of suppressing registration of African-Americans.

“… Connie Lawson and the Indiana State Police will have prevented 45,000 African Americans from voting in this year’s elections.  That is why today we reported their outrageous actions to the Department of Justice.”

In North Carolina,a state described as one with the strictest voter registration requirements a Federal Judge recently ruled issued a ruling that will directly ensure African-Americans get on the voting register:

“The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down key portions of North Carolina’s strict 2013 voting law on Friday, delivering a stern rebuke to the state’s Republican General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory. The three-judge panel in Richmond, Virginia, unanimously concluded that the law was racially discriminatory, and it blocked a requirement that voters show photo identification to vote and restored same-day voter registration, a week of early voting, pre-registration for teenagers, and out-of-precinct voting.

“In what comes as close to a smoking gun as we are likely to see in modern times, the State’s very justification for a challenged statute hinges explicitly on race—specifically its concern that African Americans, who had overwhelmingly voted for Democrats, had too much access to the franchise,” wrote Judge Diana Gribbon Motz.”

California may be  a state with millions of African-Americans and Spanish-Americans but it’s also home to quite a lot of Ku Klux Klan, the White extremist racist group that was born during post-slavery era.

It is not surprising, therefore, that voter registration suppression would occur in the state from which the following news report emanated:

Christina Bent shared on Facebook that her sister, a lifelong Democrat, had somehow received a Republican primary ballot in California. And another California voter shared on Facebook that although he had received a Democratic sample ballot, which matched his voter registration, his mail-in ballot was for the Republican primary:   []

Several NGOs have been involved in voter registration and the fight against the suppression of votes, including the ACLU, League of Women Voters and other groups. Federal Courts have also been a last resort for getting redress from racist acts of states to get all voting-age  Americans who want to participate in the voting process to be registered in their various states.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2016. 9:12 a.m. [GMT]

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