One would think that the inauguration Monday of Barack Obama for a second term as president of the United States would forever stamp as successful the heroic, historic voting rights work nearly a half-century ago of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose birthday is also being celebrated Monday as a national holiday. Yes, Mr. Obama, the first African American president, was not only elected but re-elected. That should prove that Dr. King’s legacy is secure, that the impediments to minority voting swept away by the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 exist only in the dark recesses of history, right? Wrong. It would appear that for some Americans, especially minorities, the right to vote — consecrated in the blood of the Selma to Montgomery march — can never be taken for granted, that it must always be contested.
Last year a number of Republican-dominated state legislatures took steps to make it more difficult for minority voters — who generally vote Democratic — to vote. They imposed burdensome voting identification requirements — burdensome enough to guarantee a victory by the Republican presidential nominee in his state, a Pennsylvania legislative leader bragged. They cut back on the amount of time previously allotted for early voting. In some of those states, bad information — wrong election dates, wrong voting hours — was made public, echoing the misleading tactics used by white voting officials in the old Jim Crow South.
Full Article: King’s legacy is not secure. – Courant.com.