The Issues

“Jim Crow” Voter Suppression in the 21st Century

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“The targeting of people of color is very political and very computerized.  What they’re saying is, ‘Black people are voting Democratic.  Poor people are voting Democratic. Therefore, we want to eliminate their votes.’ ”
~ Harvey Wasserman, Journalist & author

Despite the landmark Voting Rights Act of more than 40 years, African American voters and other minorities continue to face suppression and intimidation at the polls. Today, there are calculated strategies designed to reduce the number of votes by minorities. If yesterday it was poll taxes and literacy tests, today the strategies are subtler but every bit as effective.

Many saw evidence of Jim Crow strategies in African American precincts in Columbus, Ohio where voters were lined up for hours at inner-city precincts while the lines in Republican suburban precincts were consistently short. It was later discovered that voting machines were misallocated – with more machines going to Republican-leaning than Democratic-leaning precincts.

“The Long Shadow of Jim Crow,” a report created by the NAACP and the People for the American Way, details the many new forms of voter suppression in the 21st Century – from felon purges to voter challenges to new voter ID laws. That report can be found at:



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