As America turns browner?
Mostly Republican states impose restrictions on the basic act and right of voting…..
There shrinking numbers therefore become magnified …..
It is dangerous in a democracy…
Limiting access to voting is rooted deep in American history, beginning with the founding fathers and peaking during the Jim Crow era in the South. But in the wake of the civil rights movement and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the idea that disenfranchising legitimate voters was unethical, and even un-American, gained traction.
No more. Almost two decades after the Bush v. Gore stalemate led to voting rules being viewed as key elements of election strategy, the issue is playing an extraordinary role in the midterm elections.
Restrictions on voting, virtually all imposed by Republicans, reflect rising partisanship, societal shifts producing a more diverse America, and the weakening of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court in 2013.
In North Dakota, Republicans passed an ID law that disproportionally affected Native Americans, strong supporters of the state’s Democratic senator, Heidi Heitkamp, who is in an uphill fight. In Florida, New Hampshire, Texas and Wisconsin, among others, out-of-state university students face unusual hurdles to casting ballots.
Voting-rights advocates in Missouri are arguing in court that the state underfunded efforts to educate residents on a voter ID law. In North Carolina, the legislature’s regulation of early-voting hours has shuttered polling places across the state, even as it purports to increase voting opportunities.
Nathaniel Persily, a Stanford University law professor and elections scholar, said what was going on reflected a shift from a belief in shared rules of democracy toward one that sees elections as struggles for power “in which you need to push up against the rules to win.”
He added, “We’ve reached a situation in which the fight over the rules and who gets to vote is seen as a legitimate part of electoral competition.”..
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