It’s a truism of modern politics that Republicans have placed voting rights under assault in the states they control. Ever since the G.O.P. landslides in the midterm elections of 2010, Republicans have worked to restrict the right to vote in a variety of ways—by cutting back on opportunities for early voting, making absentee voting more difficult, and imposing photo-I.D. requirements at the polls, to name only the best known methods. In 2013, in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court, with a majority of 5–4, gave Republicans the green light to continue their efforts by gutting the Voting Rights Act. The Shelby decision effectively ended the federal government’s supervision of voting rights in states, mostly in the South, that had histories of discriminating against minority voters.
It would be easy to conclude, based on this familiar story, that the contemporary struggle for voting rights is just another battle in the old fight of white Southerners who want to keep African-Americans from the polls. This view is not necessarily wrong, but it’s certainly incomplete, because the state with one of the worst records on voting rights is the nation’s great citadel of liberalism: New York.
For example, the Justice Department and liberal public-interest groups have charged that the decision by Republican-led states to cut back on early voting represents a form of discrimination against minority voters. So has early voting been cut back in New York? No—because the state does not allow any early voting. New York is one of only thirteen states that has no provision for early voting, and instead employs the archaic practice of giving voters only two choices: show up at the polls on Election Day or vote by absentee ballot.
Full Article: The Problem with Voting Rights in New York – The New Yorker.