Is the Ability for Black People to Vote in This Country In Peril?

Alabamans votingToday Americans are going to the polls to vote in state and local
elections. But one year from now, millions of black Americans could find
themselves shut out of that essential democratic right.


Larry Butler, a longtime voter, may be one of those denied. Butler was
born in 1926 in South Carolina. He remembers well the days of Jim Crow,
poll taxes and literacy tests that barred many African-American citizens
from the voting booth. He witnessed the valiant struggle to ensure that
all of South Carolina’s citizens could raise their voices on Election
Day.

Now it seems like those days are back. Butler was born at home during an
era of strict segregation in which African Americans did not have
access to hospitals. Because Butler does not have an official birth
certificate, he was denied the free, state photo ID and was told it
would cost $150 to get the required document to obtain one. He
experienced a modern-day version of the poll tax. Unlike Butler, most
Americans will not have to pay more than $100 to exercise their
constitutionally guaranteed right. The Associated Press recently
reported that South Carolina’s law will, in fact, hit black precincts the hardest.

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Source: Judith Browne Dianis, The Root

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