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Is there more vote fraud on Sunday?

August 1, 2016

Federal courts this past week have struck down a spate of ALEC inspired laws to restrict voting. Of these, the most damning of the rulings may be the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rejection of voting restrictions enacted by North Carolina. The court found (pdf):

Upon receipt of the race data, the General Assembly enacted legislation that restricted voting and registration in five different ways, all of which disproportionately affected African Americans. … Although the new provisions target African Americans with almost surgical precision, they constitute inapt remedies for the problems assertedly justifying them and, in fact, impose cures for problems that did not exist.

The court determined that this was not happenstance:

The State then elaborated on its justification, explaining that “[c]ounties with Sunday voting in 2014 were disproportionately black” and “disproportionately Democratic.” J.A. 22348-49. In response, [the law] did away with one of the two days of Sunday voting. .. Thus, in what comes as close to a smoking gun as we are likely to see in modern times, the State’s very justification for a challenged statute hinges explicitly on race — specifically its concern that African Americans, who had overwhelmingly voted for Democrats, had too much access to the franchise.

In short, the North Carolina legislature framed voting restrictions with the purpose and effect of lowering black turn-out, scouring voter data to figure how to do that, and for which any claimed concern with voter fraud was but a thin ruse. The court found the evidence for that so incontrovertible that it did not remand that question of fact to the lower court.

It should be a scandalous accusation, that a state legislature and governor in the 21st century, would purposely enact racist legislation. But watch. I would bet that the vast majority of right-wing posts and editorials on this ruling — and there will be many such — do not even mention that finding of the court. Not even to rebut it. They deny that racism exists, and when they confront an overt act of it by a state government, and find themselves supporting it, they still will pretend it doesn’t.

In related news, a Republican delegate to the GOP convention contrasts her experience wearing two different t-shirts, one reading “#nevertrump,” the other reading “black lives matter.”

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