Welcome Back, Jim Crow

New laws in dozens of states could take out Barack Obama this fall.

Among the victims of the Florida law: Jill Cicciarelli, a New Smyrna Beach high school teacher who last year tried to register several of her students. She had been out on maternity leave, ran afoul of the new law, and was threatened with thousands of dollars in fines. "I just wanted the kids to be participating in our democracy," she says.

More significant, these laws have had a direct impact on minorities. The number of Latinos registered to vote in Florida, for instance, has fallen by 10 percent since 2008. (Nationally, there are two million fewer minority voters now than in 2008.) Florida, says Howard Simon, executive director of the state's ACLU, is attempting to "gut the Voting Rights Act."

Is all of this enough to propel Mitt Romney to victory over Barack Obama? Well, the president received 96 percent of black votes in 2008 and more than two-thirds of the Latino vote. And Florida is the nation's largest swing state. Many of the measures, like Texas', are under review by courts or face public votes in the future. "The fate of these laws," says the NAACP's Jealous, "will determine that of our country for years to come."

Justin Renteria

Chuck Strouse is editor-in-chief of Miami New Times, a weekly newspaper in Miami.

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6 comments
thefncrow
thefncrow

Whoever told you that you must carry ID lied to you. There is absolutely no requirement to carry ID. You have to carry a driver's license if you're operating a motor vehicle, and you're required to identify yourself to police if they stop you (note that I said you're required to identify, not that you're required to present identification), but there is absolutely no requirement to carry ID just for walking around.

Timetomoveon
Timetomoveon

Standards and expecting people to have their shit together = racism if like this newspaper and it's writers you think that blacks and hispanics are helpless and stupid. The truth is that liberal paternalism is racism.

Timetomoveon
Timetomoveon

So if you can't vote on Sunday, it's racism? Because black people can only vote on Sunday? Ok. Got it. Why can't liberals do something to actually help all these people who don't have an ID rather than exploiting them? Wouldn't it be more helpful to these minorities you're so concerned about to actually have an ID? Instead of massive voter registration drives trying to get every homeless person and criminal to register to vote like a scene from Gangs of New York-- why not have a "WE'RE GOING TO DO SOMETHING REAL AND HELP YOU GET YOUR ID" drive? You know because then they could join the rest of our civilization and do things like: Drive without breaking the law. Cash a check without going to some shady check cashing place that takes a huge cut. Get their utilities turned on. And various other kind of necessary activities in life today, all of which I would say are more important to most people than casting a vote. Are these mythical identificationless minorities you are supposedly so concerned over-- actually going to vote anyway?

Mypiece
Mypiece

You know, given the true hardships that those who lived in the Jim Crow era had to cope with... today's so called community leaders paint their followers as candy a**ed people. Cope with the changes in the process like we ALL have to do, because until these laws specifically say something along the lines that such and such racial group can't vote, you're going to get very little sympathy. Additionally, articles like this dribble do you no justice cause it turns folks such as myself against you. Now, if the intention of this article and all the other like minded reporting is to make all these issues divisive, they're doing a fantastic job.

Mypiece
Mypiece

Wow, I have a fair amount I don't like about the Republicans, however my gripe is with the whole two party system and all the zealots that support it. *cough* such as yourself.... Your rant is just that. There is no logical discussion or any progression of even a partial discussion. Just... blah, blah, 'I hate them', blah, blah, 'they want to destroy us all', blah, blah.... Come on people, make some sense and let's argue the assumptions these articles give, cause they hardly ever given any real facts.

R U Serious
R U Serious

When I turned 18 I was told that by law I had to carry state issued I.D. drivers licence or a state I.D. card. I got a ticket for failure to I.D. when I was 20. So I have to have an I.D. to walk around downtown Dallas, but It's discrimination to ask for an I.D. to vote?

 
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