When the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, it meant that the 2016 presidential race would be the first one in 50 years without the fundamental protections the act promised, as a check against racist voter suppression.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has just released a report documenting the closure of over 800 polling places in districts with historic records of suppressing black voters. Texas alone has shut down over 400 polls. In North Carolina, the combination of poll closures, short polling hours, and restrictions on early voting has led to four-hour voting lines and steep declines (16-17%) in black voter turnout.
Almost half of all Texas counties in our sample closed polling places since Shelby, resulting in 403 fewer voting locations for the 2016 election than in past years. These closures come as the state's voter ID law has become a leading example of voting discrimination since Shelby and include reductions in counties like Medina, Caldwell, Nueces, and Galveston—each with established records of discrimination and recent violations of the Voting Rights Act.
The Great Poll Closure [Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights]
With Voting Rights Protections Gutted, Polling Places Shuttered on 'Massive Scale'
[Deirdre Fulton/Common Dreams]