1916 or 2016? What you need to know about voting restrictions before the election.

Author:Wallace, Hailey
Position:POLITICS
 
FREE EXCERPT

In 2008, the nation experienced its largest voter turnout in 40 years. Until then, not one state required any form of identification to cast a ballot, and the issue of voting rights seemed to be a relic of the civil rights movement. After the 2008 general election, that would begin to change--drastically. By 2015, more than 300 bills would be introduced aimed at restricting access to voting. It's not yet possible to confirm whether these new voting restrictions disproportionately affect Black voters. However, we've highlighted the states that have successfully implemented voter restricting legislation, along with crucial data regarding voting characteristics among the black electorate to show possible outcomes of the largest push for voter restrictions since the end of Reconstruction.

HOW IT HAPPENED

In 2013 the Supreme Court essentially gutted the Voting Rights Act by striking down what is arguably the most important protection: Section 5. It mandates that states with a past history of discrimination must first seek approval before making any changes to voting procedures. Commonly referred to as preclearance, this provision was not only designed to prevent party leaders from using unlawful voting restrictions to sway elections in their favor, but to protect the voting rights of traditionally disadvantaged groups. On June 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Section 4 and Section 5 in the landmark Shelby County v. Holder.

21 States Planning to Restrict Voting Access

MOST COMMON VOTING RESTRICTIONS

Photo ID Laws

25% of blacks do not have the state or government-issued photo IDs now required to vote in states that have enacted strict...

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