Get out the vote
Keep in the vote
Democracy works best when most of us vote, so Get out the vote.
But anti-people policies work worst when most of us dont vote,
so Keep in the vote.
THE LONG SHADOW OF JIM CROW reports that the poll taxes,
literacy texts andphysical violence of the Jim Crow era have been replaced by
more subtle andcreative tactics. Among recent examples cited in the report:
This summer, Michigan state Rep. John Pappageorge (R-Troy) was quoted in
the Detroit Free Press as saying, If we do not suppress the Detroit vote,
we're going to have a tough time in this election. African Americans
comprise 83% of Detroits population.
In Kentucky in July 2004, Black Republican officials joined to ask their
State GOP party chairman to renounce plans to place vote challengers in
African-American precincts during the coming elections.
Most recently, controversy has erupted over the use in the Orlando area of
armed, plainclothes officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement
(FDLE) to question elderly black voters in their homes as part of a state
investigation of voting irregularities in the city's March 2003 mayoral
election. Critics have charged that the tactics used by the FDLE have
intimidated black voters, which could suppress their turnout in this years
elections. Six members of Congress recently called on Attorney General John
Ashcroft to investigate potential civil rights violations in the matter.
This year in Florida, the state ordered the implementation of a potential
felon purge list to remove voters from the rolls, in a disturbing echo of
the infamous 2000 purge, which removed thousands of eligible voters,
primarily African-Americans, from the rolls. The state abandoned the plan
after news media investigations revealed that the 2004 list also included
thousands of people who were eligible to vote, and heavily targeted
African-Americans while virtually ignoring Hispanic voters.
In South Dakotas June 2004 primary, Native American voters were prevented
from voting after they were challenged to provide photo IDs, which they were
not required to present under state or federal law.
Earlier this year in Texas, a local district attorney claimed that
students at a majority black college were not eligible to vote in the county
where the school is located. It happened in Waller County the same county
where 26 years earlier, a federal court order was required to prevent
discrimination against the students.
Last year, voters in African American areas of Philadelphia were
systematically challenged by men carrying clipboards and driving sedans with
magnetic signs designed to look like law enforcement insignia.