Does Jeff Hamilton: Still-needed act

March 7, 2013 

Still-needed act

Regarding George Will’s March 3 column, what part of “voting rights” does he, Antonin Scalia and Republican gerrymanderers not understand?

The VRA Section 5 was not about electing minority candidates; it was and still is about the right of minorities to cast votes. The only thing in Will’s column that made any sense was the notion that, logically, the VRA should apply nationwide. That would challenge the disenfranchisement schemes that operate on the state and local level.

Eight-hour lines at the polls, discriminatory purging of voter rolls, unverifiable and unrecountable touch-screen voting machines, voter ID laws, cutting early voting, dirty tricks campaigns. You don’t have to be black to be a victim of this. Being old, poor or in the wrong party will suffice.

The VRA Section 5 was used several times to block election manipulation in 2012. It still works, and it’s still needed.

Jeff Hamilton, Durham

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