What’s Missing From Reports on Alabama’s Black Turnout

By Vann R. Newkirk II

In order to understand democracy in the United States, take a moment to consider Alabama. In the good old heart of Dixie, the story of voting rights can be told just about from beginning to end. It was in towns and cities throughout the state where the civil-rights movement fought most fiercely for the ballot, among other things, and where 52 years ago Martin Luther King led the famous march from Selma to Montgomery that helped push through the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Throughout the state, black people organized for decades in order to finally acquire that most central American right. And they paid the price of the ticket in blood.

Yet, as Alabama’s story today tells, the Voting Rights Act was not ironclad. As the cornerstone of the movement for the franchise, Alabama has also played the part of headquarters of resistance, a long legal and legislative guerrilla war against voting rights that culminated in 2013’s Shelby County v. Holder case, one where officials in the Alabama county successfully sued for all of the former dominion of Jim Crow to be released from federal VRA oversight. That victory, and the structural barriers to voting erected in its aftermath, are a serious—and largely unacknowledged—impediment to Democrat Doug Jones’s chances in the special election for the state’s open Senate seat on Tuesday.

In that race, Republican Roy Moore is running not only against Jones, but against a mountain of allegations of sexual assault and harassment of several teenagers. According to the most recent Washington Post-Schar School poll, with renewed support from the national GOP, a presidential endorsement, and a powerful state machine behind him, Moore is keeping the race close, still only three points behind Doug Jones. A collection of other smaller polls actually show Moore pulling ahead …read more

Via:: The Atlantic


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