Pubs delay renewal of Voting Rights Act

On Wednesday, House Republican leaders postponed a vote on renewing the Voting Rights Act. The reason given is that the Act singles out Southern states for special oversight. However, some commentators, such as Greg Palast, charge the Pubs are actually preparing the ground to repeat what they did in 2000 and 2004: Disenfranchise large numbers of black (and predominantly Dem) voters.

What’s up here? Is there any good reason not to renew the VRA as originally drafted?

Another article.

Parts of the Act are up for renewal in 2007, so I guess there’s no hurry. But you still have to wonder.

I recall the Reagan Administration opposed renewing the VRA in 1982, but I forget what reasons they gave.

The preclearance thing is a little annoying. For example, I used to live in Saratoga County, New York. Now I live in Fairfax County, Virginia. Saratoga County can make any changes to votiing procedures it wants, with no oversight, but if Fairfax County wants to make the same changes, it first has to prove that it’s not doing it to be racist. While 42 years ago, Fairfax County was probably more likely than Saratoga County to tinker with their voting laws to exclude blacks, a lot has changed since then, and it’s just a bit annoying to be a citizen of a state the federal government feels needs special supervision to make sure it’s not racist.

Either demand all states and areas get preclearance, or dump the requirement.

There were all sorts of charges of voter disenfranchisement in 2000 and 2004. How many were actually proven and prosecuted again?

Seems like we have to go thru this rigamarole every few months. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to accept that Democrats can actually lose an election all on their own.

Indeed. Sometimes it seems like Bush opponents are taking a page from the Rove playbook: repeat a claim enough times and maybe people will believe it.

Prosecuted by Bush’s Justice Department? Let me think . . .

Ok, I agree that there is relatively little evidence for a 2004 fraud (beyond the use of voting machines that are faulty, which smacks more of incompetence than malice to me), but I thought that Republican activists had deliberately disenfranchised black voters in a number of key Florida voting areas (what do you call them? constituencies?) in the 2000 race? I recall reading something about illegally striking everyone with a criminal records from the voting rolls, in another move likely to hurt the Democrats? Are these charges false, or simply unproven?

So the fact that no prosecutions took place is evidence that voting fraud did happen? Kind of a win-win situation, don’t you think?

Reminds me of “the fact that no WMDs were found in Iraq is evidence that Saddam destroyed them before the war.”

Those charges are true. And these actions probably were illegal. (Which does not necessarily mean anyone involved in the process committed a prosecutable crime.)

Regarding 2004, read this.

No, it just means John Mace’s implicit argument (no prosecutions, therefore no fraud) is meaningless.

Voting is managed by the states, and states can prosecute as well. George Bush’s justice department is one path to take, but it needn’t be in the critical path.

Not that I accept your premise, though, that “George Bush’s Justice Department” wouldn’t prosecute crimes if it had credible evidence presented to it.

Okay, smart guy, who ran the state governments’ state departments in Ohio and Florida? You can have a minute to look it up if you wish. Or just look up “Katherine Harris” and “Kenneth Blackwell”, right under “Jeb Bush” and “Bob Taft”. :rolleyes:

Oh, like torture or warrantless wiretapping, maybe?

Fair enough; I wish you’d made that clear in the first place instead of taking the “It’s all part of the conspiracy!” route. Thanks for the links.

What do you mean it’s meaningless? You post an Op that references some guy’s blog claiming a massive Republican conspiracy to disenfranchise people and when I ask how many prosecutions there were it’s “meaningless”? Puh-leeze. When come back, bring facts, not some blogger’s opinion.

Greg Palast is not “some blogger,” he is an internationally respected investigative journalist who definitively exposed the abuse of the voter-roll purge in Florida in 2000. (See the documentary Unprecedented for details.) Which, if nothing else, means his interpretation of the events of 2004 is at least worthy of your attention.

Ooooh! His opinions about the abuse of the voter rolls are relevant because… he’s the one that first claimed that there was abuse of the voter rolls.

Circular, meet argument.

You’re missing the point. The abuse of the voter-roll purge in 2004 is no longer even disputed. It was a set of events that happened from very obvious motives. Jeb Bush, Katherine Harris, et al. got away with it because it was not clearly and unambiguously a crime.

Sorry, I meant 2000, not 2004.

Regarding the above – remember, we’re not talking about fraud here. E.g., whether the voting machines were rigged to give a false result would be a different discussion. We’re talking about things that were done by public officials under the color of law – but which might not have been strictly legal, and which might be harder to get away with a second (or third) time if the VRA were renewed.

BTW – does anyone recall why the Reagan Admin opposed renewing the VRA?