Study Reveals Widening Racial Voter Turnout Disparity in Formerly Protected Areas

By Scotty T Reid

Based on reporting by Juliana Kim for NPR, the widening disparity in voter turnout between white and nonwhite voters in the United States is particularly pronounced in areas that lost federal protections against voting discrimination a decade ago, according to a recent study.

Previously, Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act mandated that certain states and localities with a history of voting discrimination seek federal approval before changing their voting laws. This provision, covering nine states primarily in the South, aimed to prevent discriminatory practices such as redistricting and implementing restrictive voter ID requirements.

The Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder effectively dismantled Section 5, enabling states to enact voting laws without federal oversight. Consequently, jurisdictions once protected under Section 5 have witnessed a surge in laws that disproportionately hinder nonwhite voters’ access to the ballot.

Republican-led efforts to impose stricter voting laws, ostensibly to address voter fraud, have been widely criticized. Studies show that instances of voter fraud are extremely rare, with historical rates hovering around 0.01%. Instead, these laws appear designed to disenfranchise non-white American voters, as evidenced by the stark disparity in turnout rates.

One potential solution to counteract these barriers is community involvement. Community groups and even family members can play a crucial role in helping individuals overcome obstacles to voting, such as obtaining proper identification. Additionally, in states like North Carolina with voter ID laws, individuals can take advantage of free voter IDs issued by the state.

The impact of these restrictive laws is palpable. Data from the Brennan Center for Justice reveals that jurisdictions formerly covered by Section 5 have enacted at least 29 laws in the past decade that impede voting rights. Moreover, without federal oversight, tracking these changes becomes challenging, exacerbating the barriers faced by marginalized communities.

To address this issue, advocates emphasize the importance of reinstating federal protections against voting discrimination. Furthermore, initiatives aimed at increasing voter education and engagement, particularly among nonwhite communities, are essential to narrowing the turnout gap.

Ultimately, the erosion of voting rights in formerly protected jurisdictions underscores the urgent need for comprehensive reform to safeguard the integrity of elections and ensure equitable access to the ballot box for all Americans.

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2 Replies to “Study Reveals Widening Racial Voter Turnout Disparity in Formerly Protected Areas”

  1. Yeah, the republican packed courts have been undermining a lot of previous programs that assist with minorities. But we know it’s specifically targeting black folks. I saw at least three articles where white men have been suing programs that assist with minority ownership and other programs and winning. Some of them I believe to be civilian plants. One of the plaintiffs in Texas is a CEO of a big company. He and two other white folks sued a program that was created 50 years ago for discrimination against white males. Why would a CEO with a doctorate need funding from an organization that already states who it helps??? And of course a judge put there by Trump will side in their favor. I believe black folks need to quit playing games this time. Ever since I read a bit of the republicans Project 2025, I have been really disturbed. There can not be a republican president. That project is sick, SICK.

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