This week, former Secretary of State Colin Powell — a Republican who served under President George W. Bush — called out North Carolina on its voter ID law while speaking at the CEO Forum in Raleigh. He said the law punishes minorities and is counterproductive for the Republican Party. He also said voter fraud doesn’t exist, as the News & Observer reported: “You can say what you like, but there is no voter fraud,” Powell said. “How can it be widespread and undetected?” But restrictive, discriminatory voting laws are not exclusive to the Tar Heel state. When Hillary Clinton recently said North Carolina’s Voter Information Verification Act law was “the greatest hits of voter suppression,” she was referring to the fact that it draws from a number of election laws that states have attempted to pass, mostly in the South.
Unfortunately, Southern states continue to pass laws that serve to pick who gets to vote, as opposed to letting people exercise their constitutional right to pick who gets to serve. Civil rights activists will address these problems this weekend during the Washington, D.C. march to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom where Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Many of the voter suppression laws Southern states are trying to pass have already been declared a violation of constitutional voting rights by the federal government. The U.S. Supreme Court’s evisceration of the Voting Rights Act certainly enabled conservatives to pass such laws, thinking they could do so with impunity. But the Justice Department and civil rights activists haven’t backed down from fighting them.
Full Article: The growing fight against voting restrictions in the South.