Wednesday, November 30“Racism never sleeps.”

Tag: Black Voters

A brief history of Georgia’s runoff voting – and how this year’s contest between two Black men is a sign of progress
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A brief history of Georgia’s runoff voting – and how this year’s contest between two Black men is a sign of progress

By Joshua Holzer, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Westminster College In the U.S., all elections are administered by the states. But not all states use the same rules. Georgia uses a version of runoff voting, which entails two rounds of voting. Typically, if a candidate wins more than 50% of the votes in the first round, that candidate is declared the winner. If not, the two candidates with the most first-round votes face off in a second round of voting. There’s historically been concern that such a runoff system disadvantages Black candidates. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney General John R. Dunne once argued that Georgia’s runoff voting system has had “a demonstrably chilling effect on the ability of Blacks to become candidates for public office.” U.S. Rep. James ...
With Val Demings’ and Cheri Beasley’s losses, there are still no Black women in the U.S. Senate
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With Val Demings’ and Cheri Beasley’s losses, there are still no Black women in the U.S. Senate

Originally published by The 19th By Candice Norwood, The 19th The Senate has had no Black women since Kamala Harris became the country’s first woman vice president nearly two years ago. This year, two candidates had a chance of changing that: Cheri Beasley of North Carolina and Val Demings of Florida. Both Democrats, they emerged as competitive candidates in races that favored their Republican opponents, even surpassing them in fundraising. But both fell short Tuesday, Decision Desk HQ projects, and the Senate will remain without a Black woman. The president’s party typically loses seats in the midterms, and Demings and Beasley competed in Republican-leaning battleground states. Demings lost to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who was first elected in 2010, and Beasley to R...
How Ron DeSantis Blew Up Black-Held Congressional Districts and May Have Broken Florida Law
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How Ron DeSantis Blew Up Black-Held Congressional Districts and May Have Broken Florida Law

This story was originally published by ProPublica. Originally published Oct. 11, 2022. By Joshua Kaplan, ProPublica Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was incensed. Late last year, the state’s Republican legislature had drawn congressional maps that largely kept districts intact, leaving the GOP with only a modest electoral advantage. DeSantis threw out the legislature’s work and redrew Florida’s congressional districts, making them far more favorable to Republicans. The plan was so aggressive that the Republican-controlled legislature balked and fought DeSantis for months. The governor overruled lawmakers and pushed his map through. DeSantis' office has publicly stressed that partisan considerations played no role and that partisan operatives were not involved in the new map. ...
How Tennessee disenfranchised 21% of its Black citizens
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How Tennessee disenfranchised 21% of its Black citizens

This story was originally published by ProPublica. By Bianca Fortis, Propublica Leola Scott recently decided to become a more active citizen. The 55-year-old resident of Dyersburg, Tennessee, was driven to action after her son was stabbed to death and nobody was charged. In August, Scott tried to register to vote. That’s when she learned she’s not allowed to cast a ballot because she was convicted of nonviolent felonies nearly 20 years ago. One in five Black Tennesseans are like Scott: barred from voting because of a prior felony conviction. Indeed, Tennessee appears to disenfranchise a far higher proportion of its Black residents — 21% — than any other state. The figure comes from a new analysis by the nonprofit advocacy group The Sentencing Project, which found that ...
Black women helped drive record early voting in Georgia. They’re not done.
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Black women helped drive record early voting in Georgia. They’re not done.

Organizers were offering rides and information about how to make a plan to vote Tuesday in a state with high-profile races for Senate, governor and state legislature. By Barbara Rodriguez, The 19th This story was originally published by The 19th ATLANTA — On Friday, the last day of early voting in Georgia, Helen Butler hopped on a bright purple bus with organizers and headed 90 miles south of Atlanta to Macon, a city of about 150,000 residents, just over half of whom are Black. Butler, executive director of the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda — a nonpartisan organization focused on registering people of color to vote — stood outside the bus in Macon handing out voter guides and asking people if they had voted yet. She offered rides to the polls, a service her grou...
Georgia’s GOP overhauled the state’s election laws in 2021 – and critics argue the target was Black voter turnout, not election fraud
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Georgia’s GOP overhauled the state’s election laws in 2021 – and critics argue the target was Black voter turnout, not election fraud

Richard F. Doner, Emory University In the rash of election reform laws enacted after former President Donald Trump’s false claims of fraud during the 2020 presidential election, few were tougher than SB 202 – the Election Integrity Act – passed in 2021 in Georgia, a state long known for its history of suppressing the Black vote, especially in response to growth in Black political influence. Media attention focused on SB 202’s shortened runoff periods from nine to four weeks, limits on who can turn in absentee ballots and a partial ban on offering food or water while waiting in line to vote. But other parts of SB 202 have drawn especially strong charges of racism from Black voters, Democrats and voting rights activists. Details of the new Georgia law One part of the law restrict...
Prominent Black leaders meet with Biden after historic speech warning of extremists’ threat to US democracy
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Prominent Black leaders meet with Biden after historic speech warning of extremists’ threat to US democracy

Following his historic primetime speech to the nation Thursday night, President Joe Biden convened with a group of prominent Black civil rights leaders on Friday to hear their concerns about threats to democracy and ongoing attempts by far-right conservatives to stymie Black voting power. Leaders representing multiple civil rights organizations, including the NAACP, National Urban League, the National Action Network and more, shared Biden's concerns about "MAGA extremists" subverting U.S. democracy, including upcoming 2022 elections and the 2024 presidential election. The civil rights leaders warned the Biden administration about the dangers of white supremacy, and pledged to continue to work with Biden to protect the integrity of fair elections and try to prevent extremists from...
Federal court upholds Jim Crow-era law in Mississippi accused of disenfranchising Black voters
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Federal court upholds Jim Crow-era law in Mississippi accused of disenfranchising Black voters

A federal court has reportedly upheld a 132-year-old voting law in Mississippi believed to have been created to deny Black people their voting rights for a lifetime. The U.S. Appeals Court for the Fifth Circuit came to that decision on Tuesday about a voting law established in 1890, citing the shared belief by the mostly right-leaning judges that Mississippi has implemented enough changes to override the racist nature of that law, reported Mississippi Free Press. The law at issue is a provision from 1890: Section 241 of the Mississippi Constitution, which disproportionately disenfranchised Black people, committed certain crimes -- although many were falsely accused. Some of those crimes included: arson, bigamy, bribery, burglary, obtaining money or goods under false pretense, per...
SCOTUS temporarily blocks Georgia law considered discriminatory towards Black voters
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SCOTUS temporarily blocks Georgia law considered discriminatory towards Black voters

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Black voters who have been challenging the state of Georgia's process of electing seat holders to its public service commission. The conservative-leaning SCOTUS' decision followed different rulings from lower courts. Earlier this month, a federal district judge found that the current system gave Black Georgians’ votes less influence. Each seat on the commission maintains jurisdiction over individual districts, however a statewide race determines each seat holder which impacts Black voter power. The ruling came from judge Steven Grimberg who was appointed during the Trump administration. Following a request from a group of voters opposed to the system of electing seat holders, Grimberg ordered a postponement until the November ele...
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Michigan Governor tells Black pastors racism, anti-semitism on the rise

During a meeting with a group of Black pastors Tuesday in Detroit, Governor Gretchen Whitmer warned the religious leaders that racism and anti-semitism are on the rise in Michigan and throughout the country. Whitmer visited a church to encourage voter participation and discuss concerns for the Michigan community in a question and answer session. Whitmer, who is up for re-election, noted that in addition to losing Roe v. Wade, more harm could be done if Democratic voters don’t turn out for the midterm elections. She also said misogyny is also an issue on the rise and that democracy is being threatened by opponents on the right. The governor said low-income women  and women of color will feel the impact of  Roe v. Wade after it was overturned by the Supreme Court last week. Whitmer also ...