Five Truths About Voter Suppression - Center for American Progress
The United States has a troubled history of voter suppression. Prior to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, many states used policies such as poll taxes and literacy tests to prevent African Americans from voting. Even after the voting barriers of the Jim Crow era were removed more than 50 years ago, some lawmakers continue to pursue policies that would undermine our nation’s progress.
Under the guise of tackling voter fraud, 14 states adopted measures to restrict voting ahead of the 2016 election. These measures, including strict voter ID requirements and reductions in early voting opportunities and polling places, created barriers for tens of thousands of low-income citizens and citizens of color. Alarmingly, five of the 14 states have a history of racial discrimination in voting and previously had to seek federal approval before changing their voting laws and procedures.
Even though studies have shown that illegal voting is a myth, President Donald Trump has called for tougher restrictions on voting. The right to vote is a fundamental pillar of American democracy, but if the new administration succeeds, countless Americans could face barriers to voting ahead of the next election. Here are some important facts to know about voter suppression in the United States.