Vanita Gupta: “It’s Time to Revive the Heart of the Voting Rights Act”

Vanita Gupta in The Root:

Instead of focusing on actual problems, like modern-day voting discrimination, however, the Trump administration is working to further undermine our democracy. One of Jeff Sessions’ first moves as attorney general was to withdraw the Department of Justice’s long-standing position that Texas had engaged in intentional discrimination in enacting its ID law. As the former head of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, I’m proud of the Justice Department’s work under President Barack Obama to aggressively challenge restrictive voting laws across the country

President Donald Trump’s recently announced election commission, led by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, is key to his administration’s anti-civil-rights mission. The naming of Kobach is deeply troubling—as reporter Ari Berman outlined last week in a must-read New York Times Magazine story (or as The Root did in May).

Needless to say, Kobach is no friend of efforts to expand the franchise. The commission itself is a farce, plain and simple, and focuses on a problem that doesn’t exist. Voter fraud is infinitesimally rare, as has been demonstrated by study after study. Trump’s absurd claim that millions voted illegally during the 2016 election—an election that he won—is both wrong and bizarre.


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