Ari Berman, author of the new book "GIVE US THE BALLOT: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America ( http://amzn.to/1xBLYTH ) testified at a Congressional Luncheon Briefing on the Threat of Voter Suppression on April 21, 2016.
Rev. Dr. William Barber, leader of the Moral Monday & Forward Together Movement served as the event's opening speaker.
The briefing was attended by man members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including John Conyers, Elijah Cummings, and Sheila Jackson Lee. It was sponsored by the Transformative Justice Coalition (TJC), led by noted civil rights attorney Barbara R. Arnwine, former Executive Director of the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, and also sponsored by the National Election Defense Coalition (NEDC).
The evisceration of provisions of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in the Shelby case has allowed states to brazenly restrict voting rights. This includes, but is not limited to, proof of citizenship laws, strict photo identification requirements, early voting cutbacks, and practices that create extreme waiting lines where there is a large presence of African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and university students.
Recent studies reveal that new state voter suppression could stop approximately 1.3 million from voting in competitive states. At the briefing, you will hear from the nation’s top experts on how scores of Americans are being denied the right to vote in states that have passed onerous voting laws. In Texas alone, half a million people lack the photo identification required to vote. Thirty-two states have promulgated new Jim Crow laws to combat the largely mythical "voter fraud." Sixteen of these states will see their plans go into effect for the first time in the crucial 2016 elections.
Additionally our aging voting machines and insecure vote-counting technology poses serious questions about vulnerability and accuracy.
At this Congressional briefing new information based on the 2016 primaries voting experiences, and on 2016 published reports and books, will be explored. The briefing also featured recommendations and proposals for combating and redressing voter suppression, and legislation promoting an open, transparent and inclusive franchise for all eligible citizens.
Other speakers at the event:
Barbara R. Arnwine
President, Transformative Justice Coalition
Former Executive Director, Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
President, Alabama NAACP
Living United for Change in Arizona,
Anti-Voter Suppression Activist
Robert J. Fitrakis PhD
Professor, Columbus State College, PhD
Election Defense Expert on Vote-Counting Security and Election Fraud
Lindsey Nielson, PhD
Author of the recent UCSD Report on How Voter Suppression Laws Are Restricting the Vote in Communities of Color.