“Journalists and voting rights advocates have made many good-spirited defenses of VRA recently, citing how Section 5 protected voters of color in Florida, Texas, Mississippi, and South Carolina from voting law changes that could have led to their disenfranchisement.” My colleague Ari Berman wrote at The Nation that "only a Supreme Court wholly divorced from reality would review the record on voting rights ... and conclude that a key pillar of the law was no longer needed."
It has been a while, but this is not the first look at the Voting Rights Act. My thinking as a child, when it was first signed was very different as I did not know then that not all the people had the right to vote. My mother was on her death bed when this Act was signed and put in place, and even then it was not up for discussion within my family, we had other serious issues at hand…… Over the years, I have watched and listened to people express their opinion of this Act, and I am not sure why there is an open discussion or question about this today in the 21st century. It is really obvious that America has not grown as much as I thought it had.
This last election is my proof that too many think that the minorities in America are still the last to count as Americans with rights, to live free, work hard, build their dreams or even vote, why does that not call for concern? Can the Voting Rights Act Survive Supreme Court Review, I say by now it should not be a question of if it can survive, but the question is why do we as Americans need to think twice about treating each other the same as we want to be treated? In other words why do we need an Act to tell us how to be fair to/by each other as we are all human being?
We have endured so much as a country wars, storms, riots, protest, discontent, succession or treason and many self serving politicians, now today I read, can the Act survive. Well I would suggest that all the uproar in just this last election, leaves no doubt that America still needs this Act to ensure that all Americans will have the same rights of freedom under the laws of the land, to vote in the freest country in the world. Are we just not ready for real freedom for all in the land of the free? Although the election is for the most part over we still have Governors’ such as Scott Walker in Wisconsin who wants to make changes even now.
Scott Walker’s latest scheme to disenfranchise Wisconsin voters is now to change Wisconsin’s same-day registration rules despite no evidence.
Following a turbulent election season that saw a variety of illegal voter suppression tactics including threatening billboards in predominantly African American and Latino Democratic districts and two independent judges declaring Walker’s voter ID legislation unconstitutional, he is now going after a tried and true part of Wisconsin’s open democratic process, same day registration (11/19/12).
As we look at the many Politian’s who stood for voter suppression, voter law changes, voter fraud, misinformation, racial slurs, the closure of polls, times to vote and the people this was targeted toward. It is an act of a coward not a patriot to disallow any American the right to vote. It is a fundamental right of all Americans yet without this Act many would not have had that basic right in just this last election alone.
Section 5 of the Act, is one of the most unique civil-rights laws because it does not apply to most of the country. Instead, with a handful of exceptions like Alaska, Arizona and part of New York City, it applies only to states in the South—to be specific: all of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, most of Virginia, part of North Carolina and a handful of counties of Florida. In these covered areas, every decision relating to elections is subject to approval, or preclearance, by the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. And every decision means every single decision. If a state covered by the Voting Rights Act wants to redraw its congressional districts or pass a voter-ID law, it needs to seek approval from Washington first.
Which bring to mind the many that lost their lives fighting for this most basic and fundamental right to be counted as voting members of America why? Have we forgotten the struggles endured just for the right to vote, it wasn’t just a black issue, and many of those who died were White, Hispanic and Jewish along with Blacks what will it take?
I believe the question for all America, while the world is watching what is the next step, how do we fix this problem today and why are we still searching for freedom for all in America? While you read my thoughts, I do not expect anyone to agree with me I am not looking for that... I would hope to open a thought process/dialog into how we live, work and play in America and if that will be inclusive of everyone?
Thank you for taking your time to read these thoughts.......