Marc Morial, president & CEO of the National Urban League, expressed in the introduction to the organization’s report on the “State of Black America” an outlook that is consistent with what many African Americans believe, and we are certainly in accord.
He stated that “Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, the United States has seen a steady rise in disenfranchisement practices giving one party an edge over the other. But never before has the nation seen such an insidious and coordinated campaign to obliterate the very principle of ‘one person, one vote’ from the political process.”
These invidious developments, Morial summarizes, are “a plot to destroy democracy.”
These are not just Morial’s impressions or opinions, they are based on data and analysis from his research partner, The Brennan Center for Justice that outlines “how unscrupulous state and federal lawmakers, devious political operatives, and violent extremists are working in concert to disenfranchise, delude, manipulate and intimidate American voters and establish one-party rule.”
It’s a strong and troubling indictment of the forces afoot to undermine the democratic process and the rule of law at the bedrock of the nation’s founding.
They list a number of steps that you can take to protect your voting rights, or at least to reclaim your vote which is being suppressed from state to state.
First of all, check your voter registration status, and then review the voter ID laws in your state because they are often not the same; make sure you know where your polling station is located since it may have changed without you knowing it; plan ahead and learn exactly what process of voting is in place, whether paper ballot or electronic; and then inquire as to how you can reclaim your vote.
There is no guarantee these steps can stop or offset the attacks on your rights, but an informed and vigilant populace is one safeguard you as a citizen can use to bolster the fight for your rights.
An alert and informed electorate is the best defense against those determined to destroy our democracy, and the National Urban League has made it clear that we are Under Siege!