Voting Rights Act Saga: More States Review Voting Laws
In June, the United States Supreme Court’s ruling struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act and as a result, revived states’ attempts to review and implement new voting laws. Florida has followed this trend behind Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Alabama. Governor Rick Scott has ordered state officials to resume their aggressive effort to remove non-citizens from the voting rolls.
This effort drew a lot of criticism and mired in lawsuits from opponents who viewed this as direct attack on Hispanic and Democratic voters. The federal lawsuit was filed last year in Tampa, brought by an immigrants’ voting rights group charged that scrubbing the voter rolls would disproportionately affect minority voters. However, with the invalidation of section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, Florida is able to reinstitute the search for non-citizens on the rolls by using a federal immigration database.
Last year’s attempt at unmasking non-citizens began with a pool of 182,000 names of potential non-citizens and that was narrowed to a list of 2,600. However, of those names, most were actually citizens and the pool shrank to 198. In the end, fewer than 40 people had voted illegally.
Featured image courtesy of [SEIU via Flickr]