Last November, the big themes of the 2010 elections were jobs and the economy. But in states across the South and country, many of the most pitched legislative battles have focused on another issue entirely: voting rights.
With Republicans taking power or strengthening their hand in many state legislatures — and the 2012 elections looming on the horizon — GOP leaders are seizing the opportunity to push a raft of measures they claim will restore integrity to the voting process.
But the new voting bills share some important features: They all work to restrict the franchise and shrink the electorate — in most cases, in ways that would decrease Democratic votes.
And many of the most restrictive measures are being pursued in key battleground states, where shaving just a few percentage points off the black, Latino or youth vote could mean the difference between a state going red or blue.
“It’s shocking that the media is reporting on these bills as if they are merely innocent attempts at election reform,” said a local North Carolina election official. “Why are they being pushed so hard now? Why in battleground states? Who stands to benefit? The most relevant questions just aren’t being asked.”
Full Article: ISS – The new war on voting rights.