The Suppression of Voting Rights is consistent with the agenda of conservative right-wing groups and people. There have been in the past Supreme Court decisions which negated the effects of the 14th and 15th amendments to the constitution along with Civil Rights Acts of the 1860’s and 70’s.Many of the decisions affecting voting dealt with black voters and those decisions were based upon restricting federal enforcement and claiming that as long as the states themselves didn’t violate the Civil War Amendments then there was no violation of the Constitution.
The decisions of the Supreme Court in placating the south ensured Jim Crow Laws and the extreme discriminating that took place until the middle of the 20th Century.
The Supreme Court began to look at rights under the US Constitution in the early 20th Century. The Supreme Court made rulings that in affect began the journey to ending voter disenfranchisement. Some of the cases that were significant were Guinn v Oklahoma 1915, United States v Classic 1941, and Smith v Allwright 1944. These cases are but a sampling of the need to protect voter rights. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the 1870 enforcement Act began to have an impact on voter fraud in primaries. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed to curtail the the discriminatory practices of the South, literacy tests, poll taxes and other administrative actions deemed to adversely affect black voting.
The Fourteenth Amendment is referred to as the Equal Protection Clause. This amendment prohibits states from denying equal protection of the laws to all people; the arbitrary use of laws that are discriminatory is prohibited; such as race. it would appear that the suppression of voting rights,though claimed to prevent fraud, is in my mind direct violation of this Amendment. The Fifteenth Amendment clearly states that “the rights of citizens of the United states to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color or previous condition or servitude”. The Constitution, the Civil Rights Acts and the Voting Rights Acts, are I believe clear. The restrictions and suppression’s are designed to limit voter participation. They will affect the youth in college, because they are generally liberal or moderate and they are searching for anything that provides grounding in critical thinking especially in politics. Conservative thinking students will be disenfranchised as well. Minorities will be affected because of community or cultural differences. Minorities tend to be in a lot of gerrymandered districts or districts that are subject to the political and administrative review of those in power. The elderly will be affected because of lack of drivers license or other documents for proof of citizenship.
The states are using fraud as a catchall with little or no statistical or historical facts to deny anyone the right to vote. It is ironic, that this problem became front and center after the Obama election. The GOP has its role in America misplaced. Suffrage is a right not to be denied.
Voting Rights Center | Fair Elections Legal Network. fairelectionslegalnetwork.com
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Attacks on Voting Rights
Over the past year, several states have attempted to implement laws that, in practice, will greatly restrict access to the ballot box. Lawmakers have designed legislation to restrict access to the polls by shortening the early voting period, eliminating Election Day registration, making it harder for third-party groups to register voters, and restricting the types of identification a voter can use to vote.
While proponents defend these bills by using false claims of widespread voter fraud, it is hard not to see the underlying intent is to erect barriers to make voting more difficult. Instead of eliminating fraud, these laws have the effect of discouraging voting among minorities, low-income voters, the elderly, voters with disabilities, young people, women, and low-wage workers.
- The Most Important Voting Rights Law In American History Turns 47 Today (thinkprogress.org)
- “A Whole New Form Of Voter Suppression”: Do We Need A New Voting Rights Act? (mykeystrokes.com)
- GOP Voter Suppression (point4counterpoint.wordpress.com)
- States Work to Take Voting Rights Away, Proving Every Vote Counts (atlantablackstar.com)