"The South has changed." … "The evil that Section 5 is meant to address may no longer be concentrated in the jurisdictions singled out for preclearance. The statute's coverage formula is based on data that is now more than 35 years old, and there is considerable evidence that it fails to account for current political conditions." Justice Roberts
The Voting Rights Act has been upheld but the Supreme Court, as stated by Chief Justice Roberts above, has indicated that survival may have a time limit.
As a volunteer I have spent that past five years teaching voter education classes. In that role, I have gotten to know a lot about voting rights and voting realities in America. Justice Roberts is right…the South has changed. America has changed a great deal in the past 35 years. But change isn’t always for the better.
In a lot of ways the South was forced to address the disease of racism and the voting system that maintained it through legislation. Voting Rights advocates correctly fear that, without the power of law, people will revert to manipulation the system and suppressing votes to seek power. We have only to look at the middle of the country to see from whence their fear comes. Voter Identification laws and initiatives have sprung up in my home state of Missouri and others…gaining steam from the bullshit that masses of people are voting over and over again or dead people are voting even though those of us intimate with election happenings know that registration irregularities have not translated into voting irregularities.
Even though we know that Voter identification is really set up to target renters who move a lot…poor people who may not have one of the accepted ids…older people who may not have up to date identification…and new voters who often don’t know what their rights are when they go to the polls.
This challenge to the Voting Rights Act…and the challenges sure to come…are more about redistricting and political manipulation than a legitimate concern for the rights of the masses.
This is about power…just like asking a black woman to count the number of chickens in a chicken coop in order to register to vote before the Voting Rights Act was about power…like burning crosses in front yards the night before elections was about power…like robo-calls announcing the wrong date of an election is about power…like not having the right ballots on file or accurate registration data is about power…like voting machines that curiously default to the incumbent’s name no matter how many times the voter tries to select the challenger is about p-o-w-e-r.
And now the Supreme Court has indicated that the Voting Rights Act may not hold up to a better-crafted challenge.
‘Tis now up to Congress to address the updates that may be required.
The election of this nation’s first black president did not close the door on our nation’s tradition of fucking with people at the polls…people were fucked with at the polls during the election of this nation’s first black president.
We are not post-racial…we are not a society that seeks to empower the poor, the workers or rural voters or people of color at the polls.
The Voting Rights Act may need an update…
…but we the people still need a Voting Rights Act.
***logs off the call Congressperson and tell him to add one more item to his legislative to-do list***