This is voter suppression. WI has made a number of last-minute changes in response to the coronavirus, such as drastically reducing polling places. Now, the Supreme Court told the state that it can’t make the changes that allow tens of thousands of its eligible persons to cast a ballot. Read about it here. #VoterSuppression
A consequence of COVID-19 is widespread DMV closures and the inability to register to vote. You can read about Nevada’s experience here. DMVs and other voter registration options are sparse or non-existent in most states. Additionally, organizations that usually engage in voter registration activities are unable to do so in this state of emergency. #voterregistration #votingrights #COVID19
Filed a complaint in Florida seeking accommodations for the many Floridians who are displaced and/or unable to cast ballots in the presidential primary. Read the full complaint here:
Considering expanding the vote to all residents of a locality regardless of citizenship status, read here.
Jan. 27, 2020 By Kristen Torres “The Queens delegation is split over a city bill that would grant green card holders and many other legal immigrants.”
The fight over the restoration of voting rights continues in Florida. The state supreme court ruled that Amendment 4, which potentially returned the right to vote to more than1 million people in Florida, required the completion of fines and fees before voting rights could be restored. Read the story here.
This article argues for a constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right to vote. It highlights the recent gains in rights of restoration work as examples for the need for uniform standards.
A federal judge in North Carolina blocked it’s voter ID law finding, among other things, troubling racial disparities. “The evidence suggests that minority voters are not just less likely to have an acceptable form of ID, but that the legislature excluded photographic ID that could have greatly reduced that discrepancy,” the judge wrote.
January 1st is a significant day in civil rights history. On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation which proclaimed that “all persons held as slaves … are, and henceforward shall be free.” It is said that slaves in the confederate states watched all night on December 31, 1862, to see what freedom looked like on January 1st. Accordingly, 157 years later, in the African American culture, we continue to attend watch night services on New Year’s Eve. Maybe in 2020, we can truly see what freedom looks like. #freedom #watchnight #vote
Civil rights museums to visit in Alabama are discussed here: Venture Bound: Alabama museums detail civil rights movement
Restoration of rights has become a focal point in recent years. This article highlights the misinformation that takes place in Illinois and elsewhere across the country. Illinois is among the few states where formerly incarcerated regain their voting rights after release, but many are misinformed and unaware.
There’s a wide range of dependence across and within the states. Here’s a state-by-state look at how welfare, education and roads could be impacted by the next budget that Trump signs.
History often focuses on children of the movement—youngsters who were active participants in the fight for civil rights. But there were other young people who played a part in that history, as well—descendants of the movement, those who witnessed their parents or relatives fight to end segregation in the South.
And here is their stories……
Mississippi Power paid tribute to four iconic individuals for their pioneering work in advancing the causes of human and civil rights at the 2017 Heritage Awards Saturday night.
This year’s honorees, Victoria Gray Adams, Lawrence Guyot Jr., Col. Lawrence Roberts and Lucimarian Tolliver Roberts all stood as symbols of hope and perseverance in the face of tough circumstances.
This article discusses the harm that Trump’s unfounded pronouncement of voter fraud could do the right to vote. You can read more here: http://www.phillytrib.com/news/trump-s-voter-fraud-unicorn-could-pose-grave-threat-to/article_0e763bde-6374-50cc-a2f0-6af4af1801a7.html
Republican lawmakers plan to submit a bill to the state legislature that would serve as a setback to the restoration of rights for previously convicted persons. You can read more here.
The Va. governor acted one month after the state Supreme Court threw out a broader clemency effort.
This decision allows more than 600,000 citizens, who were shut out, the opportunity to cast a ballot in 2016. #restoreVRA #voterid #Texas
A majority of the full U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the heavily litigated and controversial Texas voter ID law does have the effect of discriminating against minority voters, and ordered the state to devise a remedy to that problem before the November elections. “We conclude that the district court did not clearly err in determining that SB 14 has a discriminatory effect on minorities’ voting rights in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act,” the court majority wrote.The unexpected ruling against the Republican-backed voter ID law by the conservative appeals court came as it faced a Supreme-Court-imposed deadline of Wednesday to rule in the case.
Here’s a good piece that addresses the frustration over the lack of convictions in the Freddie Gray case. Even if they don’t lead to prosecutions, hopefully, we can have real talk and real change. #policereform #civilrights #FreddieGray
On Monday, Police Lt. Brian Rice became the third officer acquitted in the death of Freddie Gray. Rice, 42, was the highest-ranking officer of six officers charged in Gray’s death. He was cha…
When I served at the DOJ, federal observers were an important part of maintaining order in some jurisdictions. DOJ believes that the Shelby decision eliminates most election day coverage. #RestoretheVRA
WASHINGTON – Federal election observers can only be sent to five states in this years US presidential election, among the smallest deployments since the Voting
Here’s a nice graphic with the breakdown of USSC decisions.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe defended his decision to restore the voting rights to more than 200,000 persons. Criticism from those who believe that the punishment should continue long after citizens have completed their sentences, including probation and parole, has been relentless. In the first month of the governor’s order, approximately 6,000 persons registered to vote; compared with less than 2,000 the previous year. You can read more here:
The US Supreme court in a 4-3 decision upheld the use of race as a factor at the University of Texas. This means that other schools who use race as one of many factors in its admissions decisions should feel a little more secure for now. Read more here.
Here’s an interesting article that connects past and present realities. GRD
Fifty years ago, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. made his first public visit to South Carolina to deliver a speech on a school field in Kingstree about the importance of voting. About 5,000 came out on a rainy day to hear him.
Source: Post and Courier
In Maryland and Virginia, former felons have the ability to vote, with some restrictions. For example, in Virginia, they must complete probation or parole. Nonetheless. 40,000 persons in Maryland and more than 200.000 persons in Virginia now have access to the ballot box. These measures, however, may be met with litigation that could affect their ability to vote in the 2016 election. Read the New York Times article here.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory stating that House Bill 2, which among other things, requires persons to use the bathroom of their birth, violates two civil rights laws-Title VII (employment discrimination) and Title IX (sex discrimination). Read more here.
Interestingly, HB2 was hastily passed, much like NC’s restrictive voting law passed in 2013 after Shelby v. Holder that removed same day registration, limited early voting, and instituted a restrictive voter id requirement.
Civil rights case involving disabled riders and Uber drivers, read more here:
Here’s an interesting article found in the Washington Post that discusses new millennium housing discrimination on sites, like AirBnB. A recent study showed that racial sounding African American names could determine, in some circumstances, whether a room/house was available for rent. Read more here:
New and more restrictive laws are in place in some Super Tuesday states. http://ow.ly/YWuKn
After months of unrest, student protests, and a presidential resignation, The University of Missouri has appointed Michael Middleton as the interim president of the university. Middleton is no stranger to the university or the fight for Civil Rights. In 1968, Middleton became the third black student to graduate from the University’s law school. Shortly after graduation. Middleton started his legal career in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. His professional and personal experiences may be just what the University needs.
A HUD audit revealed that roughly 297 families are living in HUD housing but making more than the federal income limits. Congressman David Jolly threatened to cut $104 million from HUD’s budget if the agency did not fix the “problem.”
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division will look into an incident between a white male resource officer and black female student that occurred in a South Carolina high school. The video shows the resource officer dragging the student across the classroom, after the student refused to leave the classroom.
On October 10, 2015, thousands upon thousands of people gathered in the nation’s capital to continue the movement for justice for all. Hear from three people who participated in the first Million Man March as they comment on the significance of the movement in their lives.
With SCOTUS’ recent rulings, many are wondering what the hollowed Voting Rights Act could mean for the 2016 elections. Journalist Ari Berhman shares his thoughts here.
Take an in-depth look at the history of Voting Rights in America.
Standardized testing in schools has been a longstanding and much debated practice in education. Some argue that standardized testing is a way to bring attention to the achievement gap in schools and consequently bring about solutions. Others argue that standardized testing causes school systems to “teach the test,” which results in a decreased focus on the arts and creative thinking in schools. Read more about it here, and tell us what you think.
Days after South Carolina confronted its past and lowered the Confederate battle flag, North Carolina will grapple with its present-day rules that determine access to the voting booth.
A federal trial opening in Winston-Salem on Monday is meant to determine whether recent, sweeping changes in the state’s election laws discriminate against black voters. These changes were adopted by the Republican-dominated state legislature in 2013, immediately after the United States Supreme Court struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 when it ended a requirement that nine states with histories of discrimination, including North Carolina, get federal approval before altering their election laws.
READ MORE HERE: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/12/us/a-voting-rights-legacy-of-the-1960s-heads-to-court-in-north-carolina.html?_r=0
US congressman John Lewis, famed civil rights activist, rose to the floor of the House of Representatives to call on his colleagues to ban the flying of the Confederate flag on federal grounds.
A descendant of Confederate President Jefferson Davis made a tearful plea for the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state capitol. Rep. Jenny Horne asked South Carolina lawmakers to do something “meaningful.” After more than 13 hours of debate, the body voted to take the flag down and place it with other Civil War relics. Read and watch here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/07/09/south-carolina-rep-jenny-horne-on-her-historic-and-surprisingly-personal-speech-it-needed-to-be-done/ Let’s hope and watch for other meaningful legislative actions that make the lives of South Carolinans safer and better.
The challenge to North Carolina’s restrictive voting rights law is set to begin next week. Many believe that the decision could have vast implications for other states. However, what is most likely to happen after the trial is an appeal and we could be a year or more away from an impactful decision. Read more here: http://www.thecharlottepost.com/news/2015/07/09/local/naacp-nc-square-off-on-voting-rights-with-national-implications/ Continue reading
Years ago slavery abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, gave a speech entitled,”What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Click here to watch a powerful rendition of the descendants of Frederick Douglass reciting this powerful speech.
There is currently debates going on in the Senate about strengthening the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The restoration of voting rights is needed to ensure that everyone truly has an opportunity to remain civically engaged in our democracy. Read more about it here.
In primary elections that have taken place in Kentucky and in Georgia there has already been scenarios of voter suppression. Since Shelby v. Hunter took away many of the protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, voter suppression has been at an all time high. Read more here about how November elections may lead to one of the worst cases of voter suppression yet.
Juneteenth has served as the commemoration of the day when some of the last of the enslaved finally learned of their freedom in 1865. In 1865, two years had passed since the Emancipation Proclamation, and slaves were deemed “legally” free. Amid a global pandemic and weeks of protest calling for racial equality, Juneteenth is being recognized by more states and by an array of companies than it ever has been before. View pictures and read about the nationwide Juneteenth celebrations here.
On this day in history, Thurgood Marshall was appointed to the United States Supreme Court. Thurgood Marshall was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson and sat as the first African American to serve on the highest court in the country. Thurgood Marshall’s appointment exemplifies the importance of exercising one’s right to vote and the power that the President has in appointing Supreme Court Justices. Read more about Marshall’s appointment here.
Extremely long lines and issues with voting machines caused major issues in Georgia’s most recent primary. The Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia made a statement that although she is proud of voter turnout elections should not be ran in that manner. Read more about what took place in Georgia’s most recent primary here.
Baltimore’s primary election which included primaries for the presidential election, mayoral seat, and Baltimore’s city council president took place on June 2nd, 2020. Days after the election the important local seats can still not be determined due to a number of issues with the mail in ballots which ultimately resulted in the state board of elections administrator resigning. Read more about the current status of Baltimore city elections here.
George Floyd protests have led to an increase in voter registration. Although, many may have believed the increase took place among African American voters the increase actually took place in the Latin community. Read more about the increase in voter registration here.
Recently, a number of states held their primaries. In Maryland, the state held their state and national primary elections. This was the state’s first time urging voters to vote primarily by mail due to Covid-19 restrictions. Voting in person was still allowed as an alternative for individuals who may not have received their ballot in the mail or experienced other obstacles. However, many people chose to vote in person and wait in line despite the mail-in option. What took place in this election may be a predictor of what takes place in elections come November. Read more about voters experience in Maryland’s primary election here.