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Five Truths About Voter Suppression

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An election official checks a voter's photo identification at an early voting polling site in Austin, Texas, February 2014. AP/Eric Gay

 

The strength of American democracy depends on the ability of citizens to express their fundamental right to vote. Instead of pursuing the myth of voter fraud and encouraging tougher restrictions on voting, the Trump administration should work to fight voter suppression and expand the electorate.

Connor Maxwell and Danielle Root, American Progress

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May 12, 2017 | The United States has a troubled history of voter suppression. Prior to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, many states used policies such as poll taxes and literacy tests to prevent African Americans from voting. Even after the voting barriers of the Jim Crow era were removed more than 50 years ago, some lawmakers continue to pursue policies that would undermine our nation’s progress.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Millian%20Fists%20%7C%20Illusion.jpg Under the guise of tackling voter fraud, 14 states adopted measures to restrict voting ahead of the 2016 election. These measures, including strict voter ID requirements and reductions in early voting opportunities and polling places, created barriers for tens of thousands of low-income citizens and citizens of color. Alarmingly, five of the 14 states have a history of racial discrimination in voting and previously had to seek federal approval before changing their voting laws and procedures.

Connor Maxwell  is a Research Associate for Progress 2050 at the Center for American Progress. Danielle Root is the Voting Rights Manager for the Democracy and Government team at the Center.

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