I can’t identify too many threads that connect every single election I’ve ever covered. But one feature has been a constant through every election I’ve seen up close, from New York City Council elections to mayor to governor to senator to president: efforts to suppress the black vote, and, often enough, the Latino vote. I’ve seen the fliers, heard the robocalls, been at the polling places with the mysterious malfunctioning machines. No one ever knows exactly who does these things, and yet everyone generally knows. Republicans. And now we may be getting some proof. Former Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer said for the first time on national television Thursday—to Al Sharpton, no less!—that his party is up to its neck in denying citizens the right to vote.
By HERMAN SCHWARTZ | politico.com
Though right-wing efforts to suppress low-income and minority voting have a long history, the current GOP campaign seems unprecedented in scope, organization and ambition.
Public attention has focused on the new state photo ID requirements. But many other new and not-so-new devices have been instituted across the nation. These include: cutbacks in the days available for pre-Election Day voting, making it harder to assist voters with registration, eliminating Election Day registration and requiring proof of citizenship to either register or vote.
Not all these measures will likely survive court challenges. The 14th and 15th amendments and the 1965 Voting Rights Act bar discrimination and other interference with voting in all elections. In addition, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act requires preclearance for nondiscrimination by either the Justice Department or a federal court before certain states — including South Carolina, Alabama, Texas and parts of Florida and North Carolina — can change any voting procedures.
Nonetheless, perhaps most of these voter-suppression devices will survive. Here are some details of what we can expect to see: