Archived: Is Jim Crow Back Racist Voter Laws Exclude 5 Million Blacks, Latinos From Polls

Voter ID lawssubvert the election process:Research from the Brennan Center for Justice shows that the regulationsdisproportionately impact Blacks and Latinos, whilea newstudy from theNational Congress of American Indiansreports that these laws can decrease participation in Native American and Alaska Native communities.How can you fight discrimination at the pollsVoting-rights expert Keesha Gaskinstells you what you can do in the video below.


Gaskins, who issenior counsel atthe Brennan Center‘s Democracy Program at the New York University School of Law, spoke at DiversityInc’s recent Diversity-Management Best Practices From the Best of the Bestevent in New York City, where guest CEO and senior-executive speakers presented their best-practice strategies for implementing successful diversity management.

During her keynote, Gaskins explains how the laws impede on Americans’ voting rights and compares them with the era of Jim Crow laws(scroll down to view the video table of contents):

“As a nation, we found ourselvesin the 20112012 legislative sessionseeing a retrenchment in voting rights that we have never seen beforein this nation,except for one time: Jim Crow,” says Gaskins. “Inthat one single legislative session,between 18 and 20 months ago, 41states introduced 180 restrictive voter laws, imposingrestrictions on early voting,absentee voting, proof of citizenship at voter registration,proof of ID at polling, reducing opportunities for persons with felony convictions to be re-enfranchised,and third-party voter-registration activities.”

She continues, “Jim Crow was from 1865 to 1967. During that periodabout 400 lawswere passedrestricting access by people of colornot just African-Americans, but American Indiansas well as Asian Americansfrom accessing systems,whether it was housing, voting, marriage, by operation of law. When you look at laws that specifically applied to voting, it’s about 40 laws from 1865 to 1967. In the 2011-2012 legislative session, we passed 25 lawsthat restricted voting. We have notseen retrenchment in voting rights in this country since Jim Crow, and we have never seenit at this speed in this country, ever. It is absolutely the opposite of the way we’ve been trending toward universalsuffrage. At its high point, theBrennan Center estimated up to five million voters had the potential to bedisenfranchised.”

Video Minutes:

0:00:00 About the Brennan Center

0:02:43 Democracy as a Group Process

0:04:41 Growth of Underrepresented Groups

0:09:34 One Person, One Vote

0:12:26 Increasing Amount of Unrest

0:15:04 Rise of Restrictive Voting Laws

0:18:35 Who Doesn’t Have a Photo ID

0:21:14 Misconceptions About Voter Fraud

0:24:43 Difficulty of Obtaining Photo ID

0:26:45 Stopping Restrictive Voting Laws

0:30:05 Political Gamesmanship in Electoral System

0:31:03 Legislative Changes

0:33:52 Judicial Changes

0:37:03 Possible Reforms

0:42:02 Corporate Role in Reforms

0:43:30 Helping People With Disabilities

0:45:07 Voter Intimidation, Misinformation

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