Georgia's Election Further Illuminates Why We Need Federal Anti-Racist Voter Protections
NBC News' Headline today was "Georgia's election 'catastrophe' in largely minority areas sparks an investigation."
But for many of us, we are very clear why and how this happened. Organizers like Black Voters Matter, and Fair Fight understand that voter suppression in Georgia has been happening in plain sight for years and that it is one of the biggest threats to our Democracy today. Especially for Black voters, young voters, immigrant voters, low-income voters, rural voters, elderly voters, and voters from other groups that have been marginalized by our own governments.
When we talk about the voter suppression seen on Election Day in Georgia on June 9, it is essential that we recognize two important truths:
➡️ There is a throughline that connects back to the 1960's Civil Rights Movement and fight for Black Voter protections, and,
➡️ There is a throughline that connects from the 1960s back to the failed promise the United States government made to its newly freed Black Citizens in 1865 when they were emancipated from Chattel Slavery and promised voting rights in 1870.
State Governments have been denying African Americans the right to vote since their emancipation from Chattel Slavery in 1865. #ReadThatAgain.
And even though the #FifteenthAmendment to the #Constitution prohibits federal and state governments from denying African Americans the right to vote (starting in 1870 when the amendment was ratified), this has never been universally protected and enforced. #ReadThatAgain.
So, 100 years after the 15th Amendment was ratified, Congress passed the #VotingRightsActof1965 (VRA) because the White elected officials that made up the consolidated power of local and state governments were still denying Blacks their constitutional right to vote.
And these governments haven’t stopped their voter suppression tactics: they have simply reinvented what voter suppression looks like by creating "race neutral" policies that are still racist in impact because they create deep racial inequities by suppressing the Black Vote. As the North Carolina Supreme Court said in a recent ruling, these governments are doing it with "surgical precision".