Legal Law

Voting rights and deprivation of rights

The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution gave black men the right to vote five years after the end of the Civil War. Black women won that right, along with other adult women, when the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified fifty years later. However, having the right to the role and being able to exercise it were two different things for many years. In the late 1800s and throughout much of the early 20th century, African Americans were systematically disenfranchised in many parts of the country through blatant intimidation, electoral taxes, literacy tests, or threats to vote. lynching.

With the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, many of those illegal barriers to voting for black citizens were destroyed and the tide of disenfranchisement of African Americans was reversed. This led to tremendous political advances by African Americans in the United States, culminating in the election of Barack Obama in 2008. Since that historic election, several states have passed laws in their states that make it more difficult for people without a specific type of government. Photo ID card issued to vote. Those affected by this new wave of disenfranchisement will likely primarily affect inner-city African Americans, young Hispanic voters, seniors, and students who may have school or college identification cards, but not the cards. state mandatory.

Since 2008, some states have adopted these new rules regarding state-issued identification cards on the basis that they will prevent voter fraud. However, there is little to no evidence in the United States of widespread voter fraud in our national elections. Instead, it appears that the reasons for these new voter identification laws are to suppress the vote of otherwise eligible voters by making it inconvenient to obtain such a card and by threatening others that they should not vote because they may be charged. Of “electoral fraud”. and be sent to jail. Again, it appears that such ID card laws are aimed at suppressing the votes of poor neighborhood African Americans, young Hispanic voters, senior citizens, and students who may have only school or college ID cards. University. Before we as a society accept this need to suppress voting, it would be wise to learn a little more about the history of disenfranchisement.

The right to vote in federal elections is determined by the voting laws in effect in the state of residence. At least forty-six states prohibit inmates serving a felony sentence from voting. Thirty-two other states deny the vote to people on parole or parole for a felony. In several states and the District of Columbia, convicted criminals cannot vote for up to ten years after being convicted. This means that more than half a million African American men will never be able to vote in their lifetime.

Disenfranchisement in the US is the inheritance of ancient Greek and Roman traditions brought to Europe. In medieval times in Europe, infamous offenders suffered civil death leading to the deprivation of all rights, confiscation of property, and even death. In England, civil disabilities intended to base criminals and isolate them from the community were achieved through delinquent acts, that is, a person convicted of a felony was subject to the confiscation of his property from the king and was considered civilly dead.

English settlers brought these concepts to the New World. With independence from England, the newly formed states rejected some of the civil disabilities inherited from Europe. However, the deprivation of rights by criminals was one of those that was retained. In the mid-nineteenth century, nineteen of the thirty-four existing states excluded serious offenders from voting.

The exclusion of convicted criminals from voting took on a new meaning after the Civil War and the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment which gave blacks the right to vote. Although previously there were laws excluding criminals from voting in the South, between 1890 and 1910 many southern states adapted their disenfranchisement laws to increase the effect of these laws on black citizens. Crimes that resulted in disenfranchisement were written to include crimes that blacks allegedly committed more frequently than whites and to exclude crimes that whites were believed to commit more frequently. As an example, in South Carolina, among the disqualifying crimes were several that legislators felt that “the Negro” was especially prone to: robbery, adultery, arson, beating of wife, breaking and entering and attempted murder. violation. On the contrary, crimes such as murder and fighting, to which the white man, as predisposed as the black, is presumed, were significantly omitted from the list.

This is a sad and hateful story about disenfranchisement. As a result of the disenfranchisement of criminals, Sentencing Project, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC, has published a study estimating that the impact of disenfranchisement for serious crimes means that approximately thirteen percent of adult black men are unable to vote as a result of a current or prior felony conviction. This has been a shameful way for Americans to suppress the voting rights of African Americans in the United States.

It is time to think that Americans do not compound this injustice by passing voter identification laws that will further suppress the votes of African Americans in poor neighborhoods, young Hispanic voters, senior citizens and students who may have only cards. Identification of the school or university in the false place and supposed pretext that this will prevent voter fraud.