Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"This kind of voter suppression is not partisan gamesmanship, but rather the corruption of our democracy," said Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP. (Photo: Chuck Burton/Associated Press).

"This kind of voter suppression is not partisan gamesmanship, but rather the corruption of our democracy," said Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP. (Photo: Chuck Burton/Associated Press).

Decrying 'Jim Crow 2.0,' Advocates Demand Updated Voting Rights Before Election

Recently passed measures blocking same day voter registration or requiring certain forms of voter ID are having clear impact on largely Democratic voting blocs.

Lauren McCauley

Marking three years since the U.S. Supreme Court gutted important protections from the 1965 Voting Rights Act, civil rights advocates this weekend are demanding that Congress restore those provisions and put a stop to rampant voter suppression efforts before November's presidential election.

"It is very clear that the Shelby v. Holder decision precipitated voter suppression laws by state legislatures across the country to intentionally disenfranchise people of color and millennials and silence their voices at the polls," declared Stephen A. Green, national director of the NAACP Youth and College Division.

Advocates, including the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), are calling on lawmakers to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would "repair much of the damage done by the Supreme Court."

Put forth by Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), the bill would "require federal screening of elections in states with at least 15 voting rights violations—or at least 10 local violations and one statewide violation— over the last 25 years," USA Today reports. "Under that criteria, 13 states— Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia—would qualify immediately."

"During the 2016 presidential primary elections, people across the country were denied the right to vote and removed from voting rolls," states an ACLU petition supporting that legislation. "We cannot let this be the first presidential election in 50 years without full protections for voters of color."

Recently passed measures blocking same day voter registration or requiring certain forms of voter ID are having a clear impact on largely Democratic voting blocs. During the 2012 election, 47 percent of young voters registered at polling cites. Of all eligible voters, a full 21 percent are age 18-29.

What's more, requirements that photo IDs must show voters' current address significantly affects young voters who are more likely to change addresses, as well as minority, poor, and elderly voters, who often don't have the resources to obtain updated documents.

Seventeen states have new voting restrictions in place, just in time for the current presidential election cycle. And according to journalist Ari Berman, who recently authored Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, these states could determine who wins come November.

"These states comprise 189 electoral votes — nearly half of the Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency — and include crucial swing states like Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia," Berman wrote at Rolling Stone this week. "Such efforts have been overwhelmingly backed by Republicans to target Democratically leaning constituencies, particularly people of color and young voters."

"This is not the voter suppression of a seemingly ancient civil rights era, but rather Jim Crow 2.0 in 2016," said Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP. "This is not your grandparents white versus black voter suppression, but rather a multigenerational older versus younger, as well as race-based voter suppression."

"When college IDs are not honored at the ballot box, but concealed weapons permits are, when polling places are moved off college campuses, when DMVs are closed at the moment when high school seniors are getting a license for the prom or an ID to vote, this is nothing less than a generational assault against young voters," he continued.

Brooks said that "this kind of voter suppression is not partisan gamesmanship, but rather the corruption of our democracy. The NAACP is opposed to race-driven voter suppression and youth-targeted voter suppression.  In this first presidential election in 50 years without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act, with millions of millennials being the largest voting bloc, we can do no less."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Do Better,' Say Advocates as Biden Seeks to Double Refugee Admissions

"When thousands of Afghans have been forced to flee their home to find safety, and Haitians are seeking safety on the southern border, the very least the United States can do is set a resettlement goal that meets the moment."

Brett Wilkins ·


Border Patrol Accused of 'Unfathomable Cruelty' for Cracking Whips on Haitians

"It doesn't matter if a Democrat or Republican is president, our immigration system is designed for cruelty towards and dehumanization of immigrants," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Brett Wilkins ·


As Gov. Tim Walz Proclaims 'Minnesota Climate Week,' Ilhan Omar Says 'Stop Line 3'

"The state of Minnesota simply cannot meet our carbon reduction targets if this pipeline goes through," said the Democratic congresswoman. "Our future is on the line."

Kenny Stancil ·


Supreme Court Announces Date for Case Directly Challenging Roe v. Wade

"The fate of Roe v. Wade and legal abortion is on the line."

Julia Conley ·


Avi Lewis Hoping Canadians' Climate Concerns Deliver Electoral 'Upset of Epic Proportions'

"We need to send Avi to Ottawa to shake up the entire political establishment, including his own party, and tip the scales in favor of people and the planet," said environmentalist David Suzuki.

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo