History of 1965 Voting Rights Act
The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was instrumental in organizing a mass march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, that created national support for federal voting-rights legislation.
Despite the fact that Africa
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) warns that African-American and Hispanic-Americans could lose their voting rights. The largest civil rights group in the US, the NAACP, has sent a petition to the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner on Human Rights regarding the coordinated efforts by local and state governments to weaken African-American and Latino-American voting rights ahead of the 2012 presidential primary and general elections.
The NAACP calls these voter suppression efforts the “most vicious, coordinated and sinister attack to narrow participation in our democracy since the early 20th century.”
Fourteen states have passed 25 laws unfairly restricting the right to vote, among black and Hispanic voters in particular. These fourteen states are among the fastest growing in the number of blacks (Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina) and the number of Latinos (South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee). The NAACP insists that this no coincidence, since these same populations turned out in record numbers to vote in the 2008 presidential election, voting heavily Democratic.
In that year, black and Hispanic voters turned out in record numbers, partly in a wave of enthusiasm for Barack Obama. More than 2 million extra black voters turned out over 2004, an increase of 15%.
Among Latinos, the upturn was even more pronounced. Two million additional voters attended the polls – a rise of 28% on the previous presidential election.
Ethnic minority groups are not the only electorate at risk of losing their voting rights. Other traditionally Democratic voting groups, such as college students, seniors and poorer Americans, are also vulnerable.
In Texas, a law was recently passed that prevents students from voting when using their college ID cards, while allowing anyone to cast their ballot if they present a permit to carry a concealed handgun.
Four states – Florida, Iowa,
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