Ken Cuccinelli Proposes State Be Exempted Voting Rights Act Because Virginia Has ‘Outgrown’ Racism
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) declared on Tuesday that his commonwealth had “outgrown” institutional racism and no longer needed to be subject to the Voting Rights Act’s redistricting requirements. Speaking to a group of reporters in Richmond, Cuccinelli argued that Congress ought to remove Virginia from a group of nine southern and western states who must get their redistricting maps pre-approved by the Department of Justice in order to prevent discrimination against minority voters
TP has more, including this:
Despite Cuccinelli’s insistence that the Voting Rights Act is antiquated and dispensable in Virginia, discrimination remains an unfortunate but major aspect of our society. Over the past 30 years, hundreds of new state schemes to discriminate against minority voters have been blocked by the Department of Justice. Recently, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) came under immense criticism for for attempting to undermine a candidate preferred by Hispanics by scheduling the special election during a Mexican religious festival.
Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act has played a key role in protecting minority voters in Virginia. Following the 1990 census, Virginia was ordered by the Department of Justice to draw a protected majority-minority district in order to prevent voters in southeast Virginia from being disenfranchised. If Cuccinelli were to get his way, the 3rd congressional district would no longer be protected and legislators in the state would be able to gerrymander congressional districts to their heart’s content.
Why are conservatives so eager to remove requirements that protect minority voters? Could it possibly have anything to do with the numbers 20 and 12?