Fannie Lou Who? Why Voting Rights Still Matter

Aura Bogado explains why ColorLines and the Nation won't let us forget about voter suppression.

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Library of Congress

Aura Bogado explains why Colorlines and the Nation won't let us forget about voter suppression.

While the Voting Rights Act was crafted to guarantee rights on a national level, we've found that the attacks against voting rights are numerous and decentralized, designed to keep activists on the defensive. We felt we wanted to provide these watchdogs an offensive outlet. For that reason, we'll soon be joined by a team of community journalists who will tip us to and report about mechanisms of harassment that we might otherwise miss. We feel this kind of crowdsourcing will help explain the smaller details that make up the grander scale of voter suppression.

The fact that a person's race, class and gender may still determine whether they will be targeted for voter suppression should remind us that the collective power of the vote is still a threat. By identifying potential voter suppression threats, we hope to engage people to think about why -- nearly fifty years after the Voting Rights Act—some folks are still deemed ineligible to cast a ballot. If their right to go to the polls is honored in November, these marginalized voters may decide what the next administration looks like. In the past few decades, the concern over voting rights was whether someone had access to the voting booth; today, in an increasing number is states, it's whether someone has a very specific form of identification in order to get past the poll worker. This project contends that it's time to seriously consider how and why this conceptual shift has occurred, and to spark discussions about how to move forward in a new century.

Read Aura Bogado's entire piece at ColorLines.

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