Cyrus Dugger

The Voting Rights Act, Voter Disfranchisement and the Tail Wagging the Dog

A comprehensive and rather horrifying piece from ePluribus Media:

The Voting Rights Act, Voter Disfranchisement and the Tail Wagging the Dog

a collaborative writing effort by roxy, standingup, cho, and aaron barlow

As The New York Times points out, (subscription) United States Attorneys have been forced to try to create a voting fraud scandal when none existed.

But just beneath the surface of the multiple U.S. Attorney scandals lie hints and teasers of the Bush Administration's potentially more damaging politicization of the Justice Department. Indeed, The Civil Rights Division appears to be morphing into a tool to manipulate elections. Control seems to be held by a "shadow" Civil Rights Division - populated by ideologues and their fellow travelers -- which has usurped litigation decisions, the hiring process, training and the Division's traditional civil rights agenda.

The Civil Rights Division under the Bush Administration has been turned inside out -- in the same manner as the Clean Air Act, Clear Skies Initiative and the Healthy Forest Initiative, all of which legislate the very opposite of what their titles suggest.. Instead of protecting the civil and voting rights of minorities, the Division seems to be employing twin engines of an attack on our elections system:

* Litigation: By focusing on cases under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA),which are targeted to enforcement of regulations, the politicized Civil Rights Division can point to a record of fighting supposed Voter Fraud and being champions of "voting integrity." This action serves to energize the far right Republican base and further alienate the rest of the voting public. The litigation in and of itself seems to be designed to embarrass districts that are by and large Democratic. Even the cases filed under the language minority provisions of Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act have focused, more often than not, on Democratic jurisdictions. Meanwhile, traditional voting rights cases filed under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act have plummeted, and a case was even filed to "protect" the voting rights of whites in Mississippi.

* Neglect: By refocusing department energies and priorities, the department no longer is active in upholding the protections of the Voting Rights Act , thus disenfranchising minority voters who tend to vote Democratic. (keep reading)

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Posted at 10:28 AM, Apr 17, 2007 in
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