Opinion

Editorial: Voting Rights Act necessary to prevent discrimination





The New York Times on efforts to suppress minority, elderly and poor voters:
Last month’s Supreme Court arguments over the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act served as a reminder of the long history of racial voting suppression in this country. Many of the states covered by Section 5 of the act, particularly in the South, spent decades trying every method they could think of to keep blacks and other minorities from the polls, or to reduce their voting strength.

But areas that aren’t covered by the act have no reason to feel smug. Many lawmakers in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have also pursued ways to keep selected voters from the polls, using methods like ID requirements or restrictions on early voting. Though the intent is often partisan — Republican officials repressing Democratic votes — the effect is usually the same as it was during the struggles of the 1960s, having a disparate impact on blacks and other minorities, but now adding on students, the poor and the elderly.

Get the Story:
Editorial: A Universal Right to Vote (The New York Times 3/12)

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