Voting Discrimination

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Before the founding of our nation, we were all considered human, all an individual, all connected, until affluence classified us, politics separated us, and the color of our skin spoke for us.
This issue of racism, our skin color “speaking for us”, created political problems—one of them embodying voting discrimination among African Americans. To respond to voting discrimination, African Americans utilized demonstrations to rebel. In the Selma to Montgomery March of 1965, over 500 African Americans marched to demand voting rights. In response, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 granting minorities the right to vote. By 1972, in the election of Atlanta, Barbara Jordan and Andrew Young were the first African Americans
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According to Cambridge University, gerrymandering is defined as “when someone in authority changes the borders of voting districts to favor a party”. Before the Voting Rights Act (also called the VRA), state governments spread minorities across voting districts, leaving a low African American population to elect preferred candidates. To solve this issue, the VRA maintained a preclearance formula, which identified the states most prominent in racist voting historically and subjected them to federal jurisdiction. On June 25th, 2013, the Supreme Court declared a case called “Shelby vs. Holder”, which called the preclearance formula unconstitutional since Congress cannot force states under preclearance based on historical racism. So, Congress terminated the…show more content…
Another issue—unfair voting identification laws still exist.
The identification laws were implemented initially in the 1950s in South Carolina—legislatures designed the laws to prevent African Americans from voting.
The Voting Rights Advancement Act expands the federal government’s power to send officials to state legislatures which can reduce the usage of unfair identification laws. In North Carolina in July of 2013, the state legislature enacted a bill called “HB 589”, a severe photo ID requirement which shortened the early voting period by a week. In North Carolina, 64% of African Americans consistently voted during early voting, but due to the institution of HB 589, African American votes decreased. In addition, The University of Massachusetts Boston conducted a study on identification laws; it stated that “tougher voter ID laws increased with an increase in African Americans and lower-income voters”. While these laws ensure that voting fraud fails to occur, a study from Columbia University discovered that incident rates for voter fraud with low-identification policies remain between 0.0025% and 0.003%. With the implementation of the Voting Rights Advancement Act, the federal government has jurisdiction to send officials to voting polls and state legislatures; these officials can monitor voting identification laws and revoke any racially biased laws, which could help restore racial equality
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