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World News – CA – US Presidential election: how minorities are discouraged from voting

As the US election draws closer, there are many techniques to discourage minority communities - often Democrats - from going to the polls.

As the US election draws near, there are many techniques to discourage minority – often Democratic – communities from going to the polls

More than 82 million Americans have already voted early for the presidential ballot on November 3, a record Facilitated by the use of postal voting, this rush to the polls is not so simple for all voters Some have to face several hours of waiting file or travel tens of kilometers to find their polling station These methods of deterring voters are called « deletion of voters » (deletion of voters in French) Franceinfo explains this anchored mechanism in American political practices

Since the entry into force of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 in the United States, racial discrimination has been prohibited in elections. States remain free to define the methods of exercising the right to vote. vote (by post or not, early, by what timeframe, etc.), but can no longer rely on the sole origin of a person to deny it

To favor their party, some elected officials use legal bypasses to reduce the number of voters, mainly those from ethnic minorities « Decisions are taken at the level of a county or even a district », reports Steven R Ekovich, professor at the American University of Paris Since the 1960s, it is almost exclusively the Republicans who have resorted to the suppression of voters This is explained by the fact that ethnic minorities are more favorable to the Democrats: in 2016, the African-American community voted 90% for Hillary Clinton

The easiest way to limit minority votes is to restrict access to early voting methods Postal and office voting before the election date are extremely developed in the United States, as the The election takes place on a Tuesday and the day is not a public holiday For many Americans, « voting would therefore mean losing a day’s work, which they cannot afford », analyzes Paul Schor, senior lecturer at the University of Paris, specialist in the history of the United States

To refuse the vote, strengthened identity verification techniques have been put in place by some states Strict criteria are set for accepting an ID In Indiana, for example, it must meet four criteria to be valid: present a photo, a name, be valid or expired for less than 4 years and be issued by the State of Indiana In summary: if a voter has only one piece of identification issued by another state American, impossible for him to vote

In Texas, the restrictions are similar: a gun license allows voting, when the student card, which shows the same information, is refused The goal: to discourage voting from students, known to be more democratic, as Jayla Allen, civil rights activist, explains in an excerpt from the program Complément d’études

« A lot of people don’t have identity papers, because they don’t need them to demand it in order to vote, that eliminates from the ballot the most insecure people who don’t have them People who move often do not have up-to-date documents, and the license comes at a cost « , argues Paul Schor Indeed, the most common identity document for Americans is therefore the driver’s license, issued by their State. is owned * by 93% of whites, 90% of Latinos, but only 79% of African Americans

The Covid-19 was, however, an ally in extending civil rights: faced with the pandemic, many states have simplified the use of postal voting, to prevent voters from traveling.It has exploded in Kentucky (584 %) or Pennsylvania (408%), according to data published by Les Echos This explains the record rates: more than 50 million postal ballots have already been received by the electoral services

These administrative obstacles are not the only ones encountered by minorities Unlike France, a person’s ethnic origin is mentioned during the census « We vote like our community: their church, their association It is a vector preferably very strong partisan People move into neighborhoods favorable to their political ideas, « says Steven R Ekovich Thus, it is easy to define which neighborhoods and counties are predominantly non-white in a state And remove polling stations there to complicate access to the ballot box

Consequence: the number of voters per office increases and with it, the waiting files Compared to the 2016 election, there will be 250 fewer polling stations in Dallas County, Texas, reports the local newspaper Dallas Observer * A clear example of voter suppression, as 63% of the county’s population * is non-white « This is a demotivating factor: if you don’t have a car and your office is 12 miles from home you, you’re not going « , argues Paul Schor

In Waller County, at Prairie View University, also in Texas, we vote Democratic But with a single polling station for more than 4000 voters, the waiting time is long And « work or qu ‘we have obligations, we can not wait, « laments Jayla Allen, in the program Complément d’études

A few kilometers from campus, voters vote Republican, but are four times less numerous They still benefit from a polling station close to their home Result, Republicans go to the polls much more easily

Voters line up to access polling stations, such as Annandale, Virginia, October 14, 2020 (KEVIN LAMARQUE / REUTERS)

According to a 2018 study, African American or Latino voters wait on average 45% longer than a white voter to vote For this 2020 election, in the state of Georgia, Professor Jonathan Rodden of the Stanford University reveals a glaring statistic, relayed by the American media ProPublica *: in offices located in predominantly white neighborhoods, the waiting time is on average 6 minutes, while it is more than 50 minutes in neighborhoods. people of ethnic minorities The longer a waiting file, the more it is dissuasive or discouraging for the voter

Ethnic minorities and students are not the only ones affected by these obstacles: rural people, the elderly or people with disabilities are also often collateral victims of this system which keeps polling stations away from citizens

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To fight against the Democratic vote, the strategy is not only to complicate access to the vote A last resort exists: the redistribution of the electoral constituencies No polling station is removed in a sector which votes Democratic, but its home constituency is predominantly Republican The distribution of votes tilts the balance in favor of Republicans, without preventing Democrats from voting This is decided by local officials

In Wisconsin, the historically Democratic city riding of Sheboygan has been divided into two Each party has been attached to another, Republican riding This helps to dilute the Democratic votes, more numerous in the population, but struggling to win at the polls

The redistribution can also be played out in a few streets: « We know that in certain districts there is a history of voting » underlines Steven R Ekovich of the American University of Paris A district populated mainly by whites will be attached to a neighborhood populated by Latinos, and thus, the votes will be more easily balanced. Coupled with other methods of voting deterrence, voters in favor of Joe Biden have much more difficulty in voting than activists of Donald Trump

But for Paul Schor, this method of « electoral meat-cutting » remains visible in both camps: « If the Democrats regain power at the state level, they will undo the division of the Republicans, and inevitably, they tend to turn it to their advantage « We now have to wait to see which side will manage to tip the scales in their favor and win on November 3

INFOGRAPHIC US Presidential: discover the ten key states that can tip the election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden

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Presidential, Presidential of the United States, 2020, Americans

News from around the world – CA – US Presidential: How minorities are dissuaded from voting

SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com


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