September 23, 2023

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No Sandwich or Drive-Through: How US States Restrict Minority Voting Access

No Sandwich or Drive-Through: How US States Restrict Minority Voting Access

Washington | From the obligation to have an address to register on the voter list, to the ban on drive-in voting, traditional American states have adopted a number of rules that restrict access to ballot boxes for minorities, under the guise of combating fraud.

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In the United States, the electoral body is subject to the competence of the states and is always the object of the instrument.

The granting of the right to vote to African Americans in the 1870s was followed by the imposition of new barriers in the separatist South, especially with literacy tests or election taxes.

Following a strong mobilization for civil rights, Congress adopted the “Voting Rights Act” in 1965, which outlawed non-discriminatory electoral practices.

States controlled by Republicans continue to restrict access to ballot boxes for minorities, especially black minorities, especially Democrats, in the pursuit of more technical measures and scams.

Since January, the process has accelerated: 17 states have passed 28 compulsory election laws and dozens are under review, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

They work on many levels:

Election lists

According to the Census Bureau, 69% are African Americans, less than 64% of Asian descent and more than 76% of Hispanics, more than 76.5% are white.

Some prerequisites for registration may seem trivial, but minorities are more likely to be affected. A law in North Dakota, which was eventually abandoned, required a physical address and no post office box, which, with the exception of most Native Americans, had no official streets in stock.

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Florida recently imposed restrictions on companies that help citizens register, with fines for delaying reporting forms.

Other states, such as Georgia, have dropped automatic registration on the voter list. Montana wants to register voters on election day.

Postal and early voting

Often from the lower classes, minorities find it difficult to quit their jobs on Tuesday – election day. They also have fewer cars to travel to polling stations and have two jobs, thus reducing the time slots for voting individually.

As postal or early voting becomes more open, as happened in 2020 due to the epidemic, their participation rate will increase.

However, a law in Georgia halved the time it took to claim a postal ballot. With the exception of close ties, Arizona was fined for the fact that the voter filed the ballot in his place. Mississippi needs notary signature on advance ballots …

Admission to polling stations

There are over 10,000 rides in the United States, but in rural areas they are far from home. Texas, however, has banned drive-in voting – at the wheel of its vehicle – which is still popular in the great outdoors.

According to the Brennan Center, there are fewer offices and therefore more waiting in black and Hispanic environments, which discourages voters. Controversial law in Georgia now plans to ban associations from bringing food or drink to citizens in order to be tolerant.

According to the ABA Lawyers Bar Association, 5% of white voters do not know where their polling station is, compared to 15% of African Americans and 14% of Hispanics. However, Arizona prohibits voting in a constituency where the voter is registered.

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In the coming election, polling stations in Iowa will be closed at 8:00 pm instead of 9:00 pm.

Identity documents

Some states require you to have an official photo ID to vote, even if you do not have an ID in the United States. By 2020, 25% of African Americans of voting age will not have this type of document, compared to 8% of white Americans, according to the Brennan Center.

Administrative policies to correct an error in a document make blacks even more disabled. According to the ABA, the Georgia Act of 2018, which imposes a “perfect correlation” between the name on a voter list and the name on an identity card submitted at a polling station, affected 51,000 voters, 80% of whom were black.