Threats to the right to vote have become a standard feature of partisan politics. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP/Getty Images One of the most important political trends of the 21st century has been the abandonment by most Republicans of the once-bipartisan cause of voting rights. It’s become an ongoing national tragedy thanks to the conjunction of two events: the evisceration of the 1965 Voting Rights Act by the Roberts Court in 2013 (the Shelby County v. Holder decision), and the sweep of state legislatures by a Tea Party–inflected GOP in 2010 and 2014. In the former Confederate States where voting rights were once vigilantly supervised by the U.S. Department of Justice in both Republican and Democratic administrations, it’s been open season for all sorts of abuses in recent years. One of them, voter-roll purges, has really gotten out of control, as the Washington Post’s Joe Davidson explains: Consider this data from Myrna Pérez of New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice: “Between 2014 and 2016, states removed almost 16 million voters from the rolls. That’s almost 4 million more than between 2006 and 2008. And it should be obvious that that is a rate that outstrips the growth rate of total registered… Read full this story
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