Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Fifty Years of Voting Rights, and It's Just Getting Harder

Kentucky may not demand photo ID, but it still makes it next to impossible for anyone who works or doesn't have a car to get to the polls during the 12 hours on Election Day that is the only time you can vote.

And is Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, running for re-election, making easing Kentucky's voting restrictions part of her platform?  Is gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway or attorney general candidate Andy "I Shill for MotherFrackers" Beshear?

They are not.  Repugs with Ds next to their names, all of 'em.

Ed Kilgore:

Thursday is the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And since said act was largely vitiated by a conservative majority of SCOTUS in 2013, and congressional Republicans have barely lifted any fingers to restore it, the president’s going to do everything possible to force voting rights into the national consciousness that day, and perhaps even into the GOP debate, as reported by The Hill’s Jordan Fabian:
President Obama will call for the restoration of the Voting Rights Act on its 50th anniversary Thursday, the White House said.
Obama will hold a teleconference to commemorate the landmark legislation and call for its renewal, following a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that voided one of its central provisions.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who rose to prominence in the 1960s as a civil rights leader, will participate.
The event will allow Obama to draw a sharp contrast with Republicans, many of whom argue some provisions of the 1965 law went too far. It will take place on the same day as the first GOP presidential primary debate.
In Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, journalist Ari Berman looks not just at the significance of this landmark civil rights law, but at what's happened to voting right in America since Lyndon Johnson signed the VRA in 1965.

Rolling Stone recently spoke to Berman about his new book, the trauma of the 2000 Florida recount and what the gutting of the VRA means for the upcoming presidential election.

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