Republicans Are Working Feverishly to Stop Minorities from Voting

Vice News

The effects of 2018 voter suppression laws are being felt, state by state, as Republicans work across the country to restrict the number of people—with policies that disproportionately target minorities—who can cast ballots in the midterm elections on November 6. 

In Ohio, voters who have been inactive for a few cycles can be purged from the rolls, a decision upheld last year by the Supreme Court. A new voter ID law in North Dakota will disenfranchise minority voters and seems aimed specifically at Native Americans, who often don’t have residential address and thus won’t be able to vote under the new law. In New Hampshire, students are facing barriers to participating in the state's general election thanks to a new law requiring voters have in-state driver’s licenses. And Dodge City, Kansas, which is 60 percent Hispanic, has moved its only polling place outside of town and a mile from the nearest bus stop in a move seen as calculated to depress turnout among the 27,000 residents.

But Georgia, where thousands of voters have been purged from the rolls and African Americans involved in get out the vote efforts are being harassed, might be ground zero in the fight. A confluence of voter suppression activity in the state is attracting attention in part because of the Republican nominee for governor is the one in charge of state elections.

Danielle Lang, senior legal counsel for voting rights and redistricting at the the Campaign Legal Center, agrees. She told VICE that the barriers to the ballot are creating a number of negative effects on the electorate—and though some of those effects are hard to quantify, so too are the positives. "Even if turnout goes up," said Lang, "we can't understand what turnout would be without voter suppression, it's a counterfactual argument."

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