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Desiline Victor, you are not alone.
A report released on February 12, 2013 by the Election Protection coalition, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, pledges to address the “endemic yet solvable problems [that] continue to plague our system of elections and prevent too many eligible voters from fully participating in our democracy.”
UPDATE: Back in March, we turned our attention to the 47th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. In the months since, we’ve crisscrossed the nation and detailed how the fights of 50 years ago are being resurrected today. The Atlantic’s Andrew Cohen yesterday offered his own telling, invoking Dr. King’s famous quote, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice,” to break down the dangerous myths and machinations of voter suppression, concluding that “[t]hese new laws seek to bend the arc backward again, to take away from people their effective right to vote.” It’s important that we remain vigilant over the next nine weeks, so that on November 6 eligible Americans are able to cast a vote and have it count. In the words of LBJ, “Then with his vote and his voice he is equipped with a very potent weapon to guarantee his own dignity.” Click here and here for more from Andrew Cohen.
UPDATE: With the so-called Secure and Fair Elections package facing an uncertain future, confusion is surely looming for Michigan’s August 7 federal primary election. The vetoed citizenship check box remains, but without legislative force behind it, as Secretary of State Ruth Johnson conceded, checking it remains optional. Left is the question of whether voters know their option or if elections officials will enforce the rule. Elsewhere military access to absentee ballots has been called into questionby DOJ.
UPDATE: Despite hopeful signs from Governor Rick Snyder’s office, the fight against voter suppression is far from over in Michigan. Senators Darwin Booher and David Robertson have introduced SB 1219, identical to the vetoed SB 803. The ballot coaching provision in HB 5061 was referred back to the House Committee on Redistricting and Elections. SB 754 is also likely to return.
UPDATE: Though July 1 has now passed, Governor Rick Snyderstill has yet to sign the voter suppression package. The Michigan chapter of the National Action Network is planning a march from Detroit to Lansing on July 23-27 to protest these and other measures, should the Governor come down on the wrong side of civil rights. Chapter president Rev. Charles Williams II, a supporter of PFAW Foundation’s African American Ministers Leadership Council, says that the bill’s proponents are "playing games" and "we’re standing against it."
A series of voter suppression bills, whose ALEC ties include Representative Dave Agema and Senators David Robertson and Darwin Booher, have now made their way to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. Supporters claim that the legislation is necessary to combat voter fraud, but there is a reason the Right Wing has been so eager to invent such a problem and then offer gratuitous solutions: to disenfranchise the voters least likely to back conservative politicians.
UPDATE: The Michigan House has voted a trio of voter suppression bills out of committee, sending them to the floor for votes expected in the coming week. The bills have already passed the Senate and could soon go before Governor Rick Snyder. Part of Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s so-called Secure and Fair Elections package, they echo the nationwide attack on the right to vote. A fourth (House Bill 5061) is moving in the Senate.
Last month we reported on the citizenship question that came up during Michigan’s primary. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for voter suppression in the Great Lakes State.
March 7, 2012 marked the 47th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” when voting rights marchers were beaten in their attempt to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. NAACP President Ben Jealous joined activists from then and now in marking the occasion with another march, saying protest is just as necessary now as it was then.