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Tuesday, March 05, 2013


Donald Pay

I'm not sure how Ohio's machinations prove that pre-clearance is not needed. In fact, the data indicate a continuing effort in many Southern jurisdictions to preclude black voters. These have included actually doing away with elected offices. Pre-clearance cases continue to be filed and decided in favor of minority voters. The problems in Ohio stem from a racist Republican Party. Get rid of the corrupt Republican Party and we solve the issue in Ohio. If that can't be accomplished, then, yes, let's put Ohio on the pre-clearance list.

larry kurtz



Indeed, Donald and Larry are correct: You present little evidence Section 5 should be struck down. Rather, you make a case for extending it to some Northern jurisdictions that seek to suppress minority voter participation in ways reminiscent of the Jim Crow South.

You do allude to federal courts as a means to block suppression efforts. That is true to an extent, but why would one wish to let the effort to suppress go that far? Does it not make more sense to 'nip it in the bud' because if we don't, someone or some group must amass the resources needed to win a court suit to reclaim a basic right that is supposed to already exist: the right to vote.

Even if a case is won, there may be confusion as to exactly what the rules for voting are. Pennsylvania's voter I.D. law is a case in point. The legislature passed the law and shortly before the 2012 election, courts postponed implementation until 2014. Not everyone got the message and to the extent they didn't, the law may have achieved its desired effect of suppressing voter turnout for Democrats/Obama. Or maybe it had the opposite effect and more voters turned out because the effort to suppress pissed them off. In either case, the entire episode was a putrid example of how blatantly self-serving those who legislate election rules can be.

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