A year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a part the Voting Rights Act, freeing Georgia from having to seek federal approval for election changes. A new report on minority voting rights, however, finds African American, Latino and Asian voters still face significant discrimination at the polls in Georgia and other Southern states.
his majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out that discrimination at the polls remains against the law; the surviving Section 2 says anyone who’s been disenfranchised need only bring suit after the offending election has occurred. So far, it hasn’t worked out that way. Except in the places where it has.
Georgia’s chapter of the NAACP has a new elected leader for the first time in eight years. Civil rights attorney and pastor Francys Johnson takes over as president after a statewide conference last month. Johnson is 34, which means he grew up in a post-segregation society. But he said the organization is still fighting some of the same battles of his predecessors.
After eight years leading the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, Edward DuBose says inequality in the state’s criminal justice system is the most significant issue greeting his successor. DuBose said the organization’s next president also must ensure access to the polls now that the Supreme Court has struck down part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Dozens of Georgia activists and politicians are bound for the nation's capital where they will join demonstrators from across the country in commemorating the 1963 civil rights march on Washington 50 years ago.
State legislators and Civil Rights leaders launched a comprehensive voting rights campaign in Atlanta Wednesday. The effort, called American Values First and comprised mainly of Democrats, will fight a recent crop of anti-voter fraud laws in more than 30 states that have the support of many Republicans. Instead, members will draft templates of laws for all 50 states that would remove voting restrictions, which they say disenfranchise minority voters.
Civil rights leader Joseph Lowery is scheduled to speak in Atlanta during the launch a nationwide campaign to preserve and expand voting rights. Lowery and others are scheduled to speak Wednesday afternoon at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church on the importance of equal voting rights and access.
Savannah City Council members are talking about the racial make-up of their voting districts. The city is re-drawing council boundaries for the first time since a US Supreme Court ruling invalidated part of the Voting Rights Act. The ruling means Savannah doesn't have to ask federal officials for approval before adopting new voting districts.
The Supreme Court's ruling on the Voting Rights Act is drawing emotional responses from minority lawmakers. Recounting their roles in getting the 1965 law passed, Congressmen John Lewis of Georgia and John Conyers of Michigan say the court's decision ignores history and the continuing efforts to deny voting rights to minorities.