There’s a discussion over at The New York Times about whether the Voting Rights Act is still needed today, more than 40 years after it finally crushed Jim Crow laws that disenfranchised millions of voters.
The fact that the Supreme Court is hearing a challenge to one of its key provisions is beside the point: of course it’s needed! Sheesh. Was anyone paying attention last year when Republican states attempted and succeeded in making people either show a government-issued photo ID to vote, or to rig voting precincts so that predominantly minority areas had disproportionately long lines?
If nothing else, the Voting Rights Act, and the preclearance provision in question, should be expanded in an effort to federalize elections — to stop the obvious state-level grabass to prevent people from voting. There are too many good ol’ boys who control our most cherished obligation here. They’ve screwed around long enough and it’s time to take their toys away.