Uncategorized

Camouflaging race-based voting changes as “partisan”

In case you missed it over the weekend, one of the nation’s sharpest experts on voting and voter suppression efforts, Prof. Richard Hasen of the University of California, Irvine, (click here to see Hasen interviewed on “News and Views”) had an excellent editorial in the New York Times entitled: “Voter Suppression’s New Pretext.”

He cites North Carolina’s now banished GOP official Don Yelton in the article:

“Unlike with race-based discrimination, which, if proved, could violate both the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution, the Supreme Court has refused to recognize a standard for policing even nakedly partisan gerrymandering.

But now, supporters of strict voter-ID, registration and other voting laws are trying to use the same defense they have used to defend gerrymandering. They can claim ostensibly good reasons for their laws: preventing fraud or saving money. As a fallback, they can claim, like Texas, they are engaged in permissible partisan discrimination, not impermissible race discrimination.

But this is specious. First, it is artificial to separate race and party under current political conditions. When Don Yelton, a Republican official in North Carolina, recently toldThe Daily Show” that if the state’s strict new voter-ID law ‘hurts a bunch of lazy blacks,’ then ‘so be it,’ it was easy to see old-fashioned Southern racism. But just as significant was Mr. Yelton’s saying that the new law ‘is going to kick the Democrats in the butt.’”

Read the rest of the piece by clicking here.

7 Comments

  1. NitWitCharmer

    November 18, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    The system of NC gerrymandering began only after the Voting Rights Act overrode our state’s Constitutional protection from gerrymandering, the requirement that districts be drawn along county lines.

    That Constitutional requirement was not compatible the the Voting Rights Act, so out it went and in came an era of Democrat gerrymandering that created Mel Watt’s I-85 district among others.

    Being that Democrats broke NC’s anti-gerrymandering Constitution with the Voting Rights Act, the first step to respecting NC’s Constitution regarding gerrymandering is to kill the Voting Rights Act.

    The Supreme Court may have made that possible.

  2. Alan

    November 18, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    NWC,

    Really? The Voting Rights Act is simply Democratic gerrymandering? Have you no memory of this states, and many others, atrocious civil rights abuses?

    So, to use your own logic, then I’m sure you’ll be 100% in agreement that the gerrymandering of NC by the GOP must be brought to an end immediately, and all redistricting must be handed over to an independent, non-partisan body without delay?

    May I susggest you take a day out and go visit the Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro, perhaps then you’ll be reminded of the real reasons for the Voting Rights Act.

  3. NitWitCharmer

    November 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Via Wiki:

    ” Article 2, sections 3 & 5, sub-section 2 state that counties must not be divided when drawing state legislative districts. This provision is known as the “Whole County Provision.” However, in 1981, the federal Justice Department ruled that this provision was inconsistent with the Voting Rights Act. ”

    And in came the Democrat system of gerrymandering NC has been saddled with to this day.

  4. Alan

    November 18, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    You failed to address the question, “So, to use your own logic, then I’m sure you’ll be 100% in agreement that the gerrymandering of NC by the GOP must be brought to an end immediately, and all redistricting must be handed over to an independent, non-partisan body without delay?”

    Yeah, the Voting Rights Act was just a big ‘Democrat’ conspiracy…

  5. NitWitCharmer

    November 19, 2013 at 12:38 am

    I do not support gerrymandering by either party, but unfortunately we are currently operating under the system left the state by Democrats.

  6. Alan

    November 19, 2013 at 9:35 am

    So it’s all the fault of the Democrats that allows the state GOP to gerrymander, so it’s not really their fault then? Illogical at best.

  7. GOP Rules

    November 19, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Alan/ML,
    It is no one’s “fault” just the way politics have been used since forever. The abuses by the democrat party however are far and away larger than anything that has been put in place in NC over the past few years.