The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has issued a report documenting instances of voter discrimination and emphasizing the need to restore the Voting Rights Act’s enforcement capability after the Supreme Court’s Shelby County Decision. Unfortunately, no action has been taken on bipartisan bills in either the House or Senate.
The report had the following key findings:
Racial discrimination in voting remains a significant problem in our democracy.
Nearly 50 years after the enactment of the Voting Rights Act, racial discrimination in voting remains a persistent problem in many places around the country.The 148 separate instances of voting violations since 2000 documented in this report illustrate that while we as a nation have made progress in our efforts to stop racial discrimination in voting, our work is not done. And given that this set of examples is drawn only from documented and reported cases of discrimination, the actual extent of racial discrimination in voting is likely much more extensive than this list may suggest.
The problem of racial discrimination in voting is not limited to one region of the country.
The examples outlinedi n this report document instances of voting discrimination from 30 states, representing every region of the country. Racial discrimination in voting remains concentrated in states that were previously covered under the VRA’s preclearance requirement, but is also present in other states and jurisdictions that have not had the same history of discrimination.
Voting discrimination occurs most often in local elections.
As is evident throughout this document, the vast major-ity of instances of racial discrimination since 2000 have occurred at the local level. They often concern the election of city, county or other local elected ofcials, where many of the contests are nonpartisan.
Discrimination in voting manifests itself in many ways, and new methods continue to emerge.
Voting discrimina-tion occurs today in both overt and subtle forms. The examples in this document range from an instance in Kilmichael, Mississippi, when the town cancelled a general election for the office of mayor and board of alderman after
Black people had become a majority of the registered voters, to the closure of polling places in heavily minority areas.
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