You might be a little less likely to be stopped by cops. One study suggests those in the highest income brackets are 5.5 times more likely to be stopped than people in the bottom 10 percent.
It has been two decades since the Supreme Court invalidated the Voting Rights Act’s (VRA) provisions, which barred places of “substantial minority” voting in a few states. This was a major victory for Republicans, who had decried the law’s provision of protections for minority voting rights in Congress — a position that still holds today, notwithstanding President Obama’s reelection. There’s a new push to undo the VRA, spearheaded by a group of conservative senators who oppose the Voting Rights Act and want to repeal or weaken certain parts of it. And they’ve brought back the old-school racist tactic of getting state and local Republican lawmakers to pass their own discriminatory voting restrictions, in ways often blatantly designed to disenfranchise poor and minority voters.
The push seems to be getting traction. Earlier this month, for example, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) signed a statute in which the state’s Republican-dominated legislature passed new restrictions on early voting that require voters to show photo identification. The state’s elections chief, State Sen. Jay Dardenne (R), justified the legislation by claiming that it would save election officials time and money by making it harder for Democrats to vote.
But new voting restrictions, in particular, seem to be having a major effect on minority voters, even as early voting grows and fewer non-white voters are eligible to vote. A new analysis from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University found that “voting restrictions have led to fewer early votes and increased the percentage of minorities in the electorate — especially in urban areas — significantly compared with prior elections.”
And those effects can be seen in both the U.S. House and the state level. A new analysis found that voting restrictions “were significant drivers [of early voting growth in 2014] in 10 states that implemented new redistricting, with many of these changes occurring in non-competitive districts that helped to increase the share of minorities and other Democrats voting.” In Wisconsin, for example, one of the states affected by a Supreme Court ruling, nearly 80 percent of all voting stations were converted to closed polling places before election day; just three percent of the new turnout went to whites. In Florida, where Republicans have attempted to use voting restrictions to block minority voting, the number of African Americans — who tend to vote Democrat — has been reduced
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