Everybody knew this would happen, though I don’t think we knew it would be this bad.
Courtesy of Mother Jones:
In 2013, the Supreme Court gutted a core provision of the Voting Rights Act: The requirement for certain states with a history of voter discrimination to “preclear” changes in their election rules with the federal government. For decades, the 1965 law helped secure the right to vote for hundreds of thousands of people in nine states, as well as certain jurisdictions in six other states, which had such a history of discrimination against minority voters. But in the 5-4 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, the court ruled that the coverage formula for determining those jurisdictions subject to preclearance was outdated and therefore unconstitutional.
The consequences of the Shelby County decision were immediate: States that had previously fallen under the jurisdiction of the VRA immediately passed tough voter restriction laws and restructured election systems. But a new report released today by the civil rights coalition The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights adds another dimension to the picture of how this 2013 ruling has undermined voter access by analyzing the number of polling place that have been closed since the ruling. According to the report, entitled “Democracy Diverted: Polling Place Closures and the Right to Vote,” 1,688 polling places are now shuttered in those areas. The report, which is a follow-up to a 2016 analysis, looked at 757 counties and found that 298 of them, or 39 percent, reduced their number of polling places between 2012 and 2018.
“Next to the ballot itself, the most identifiable element of our democracy’s voting process is the polling place. It should—and it must—be accessible to all,” the report states. “When it is not, the barriers to participation can be high. Moving or closing a polling place— particularly without notice or input from communities—disrupts our democracy.”
Just your daily reminder that the Republicans and their stooges on the Supreme Court have been working for decades to restrict your right to vote.
We should also keep in mind that if we do not turn out in droves in 2020 that their carefully laid plans will succeed in keeping Donald Trump in office and retain control of the Senate despite most of the country being adamantly against that outcome.