There are two sides to the argument regarding voter suppression laws: they can help Democrats and hurt Republicans. Depending on the jurisdiction, voter expansion laws can help Democrats but may not be as crucial as voter suppression laws in Democratic areas. In California, for example, voter expansion laws may not be essential to Democratic victories. In Massachusetts and Virginia, however, they may. In addition, many Senate seats are safe for Democrats, and voter expansion laws can help them.
Defendants argue that voter suppression laws rest on a fictional justification of voter fraud.
The defendants argue that voter suppression laws are based on a false justification. They say that voter fraud is a myth and that voter suppression laws stifle the voice of American citizens. However, the reality is far more complex. While voter fraud is a comparatively low rate, the rules are designed to keep people from voting. In some states, voter suppression has reduced turnout by as much as 13 percent. Similarly, limiting early voting and polling place hours has disproportionately affected voters of color.
There is no proof that voters intentionally attempt to vote in illegal ways. And even if they did, it is a rare case. Ohio voters challenged in eligibility might be forced to use provisional ballots. Such ballots will only be counted if officials sanction them. But many experts worry that voter suppression laws will discourage voters. “If voters fear they will be intimidated, they will not vote,” said Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School.
Defendants argue that restrictive voting laws do not serve a compelling state interest.
Defendants contend that voter ID laws are impassible burdens on the right to vote. However, the Supreme Court has consistently rejected such claims, and this case is another strong indication of why. The case cited by the defendants in support of their claims was Morse v. Republican Party of Virginia. The court held that the Virginia Republican Party’s actions to impose a registration fee on delegates to its convention were constitutionally protected. The case also addressed the constitutionality of state changes to voting procedures, including introducing multimember districts and at-large voting.
In addition to the racial gerrymandering argument, the court also rejected that SS 2 of the Voting Rights Act requires a numerical majority of voters in a district to elect a candidate. Instead, it found that a compact minority of voters could elect a candidate but that the legislative intent behind the drawing of district maps was partisan. Ultimately, race as a proxy for partisanship amounts to racial gerrymandering.
14 states restrict voting ahead of the 2016 election
The Republican-controlled legislature in many states is trying to limit voting rights and sway voters. The new restrictions are an effort to prevent minority voters from casting a ballot, a demographic that tends to vote Democratic. In some states, such as Michigan and Pennsylvania, voter ID laws are mandatory. Some states are also making it difficult for people with felonies to vote, which is particularly concerning given the upcoming election.
The latest restrictive voting laws have been passed in most states, including Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Minnesota. While most of these laws passed last year, others are set to take effect in the 2016 election. In some states, voters may be restricted from voting based on their sex, race, or national origin. Fortunately, new laws that prohibit mail-in ballots may not last, and they are not likely to survive until the next election.
Impact of restrictive voting laws on Black and Brown people
Restrictive voting laws on Black and Brown people vary from state to state, but new voting laws disproportionately affect these groups. The fifteenth amendment granted Black men the right to vote in 1870, but this was only a partial success, as only 20 black men served in U.S. Congress. White supremacy groups responded by implementing violence and banning the Black vote from the polls.
Regardless of their intention, voter ID laws often have a racial bias, especially for black voters. Additionally, restrictions on voting on Sundays would disproportionately affect people of color. Those restrictions were proposed in Texas and Georgia last year. In Texas, it was outlawed, but black voters were twice as likely to experience problems getting to their polling location than white people.