Monday, February 8, 2016

A Setback For Election Riggers

After the Republican-dominated Supreme Court gutted parts of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act, state legislatures controlled by Republicans mounted an intensive effort (supported by the scurrilous, Koch brothers-backed American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC) to put up barriers to Democratic voting groups exercising their franchise, including voter ID laws meant to suppress young and minority voters who normally vote Democratic.

Another tactic pushed by ALEC and their Republican legislative beneficiaries was that of re-drawing Congressional districts that were designed to limit the influence of voters who fit the Democratic demographic. North Carolina's Rethuglican officials set about re-drawing districts in their state shortly after the Supreme Court's action on the Voting Rights Act (which was specifically aimed at historically discriminatory southern states). The objective was to pack African-American voters into as few districts as possible, in order to diminish their overall impact on elections. It appeared as though their plan to maintain themselves in power was succeeding until last Friday, when a three-judge Federal panel ruled that the State's gerrymandered districts violated the Constitution, and ordered the State of North Carolina to change the districts so as not to constitute racially segregated districts.  

Whether the State will appeal to the Supreme Court remains to be seen, but they only have until February 19 to comply with the order.

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