Voting Rights: Justice Has Prevailed

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Voting is a right, not a privilege. Apparently some folks need a reminder every now and then.

When the Voting Rights Act of 1965 became law, it solidified every American citizen's right to vote and participate in the electoral process. There were some that came up with creative schemes to block the votes of minorities, and today, we're seeing new tactics of the same old dirty tricks.

As the population continues to diversify and the literal face of the nation changes, we see these renewed attempts at voter suppression such as Arizona's Prop 200. Requiring people to show proof of citizenship in addition to regular forms of voting identification, Arizona's Prop 200 was nothing more than an added burden to hinder individuals from voting. And on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered strong support for voter equality when it struck down Arizona's draconian law in a 7-2 ruling.

The 1993 National Voter Registration Act, also known as the Motor Voter Act, required state governments to allow for voter registration when a person applies for or renews his/her license, applies for social services or uses mail-in forms provided by each state's election commission. It is precisely this act that the Supreme Court said overruled Arizona's Prop 200. The Court was so adamant in its stance on this issue, that even conservative-leaning judges like Scalia voted against the Arizona legislation. We at National Action Network (NAN) applaud the Court's decision in Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. As an organization that has long fought against voter disenfranchisement, and pushed for greater federal government oversight of the election process, NAN welcomes this development.

Last Friday, I was in Phoenix, Arizona for a hearing in the case of Melendres v. Arpaio where a judge requested federal monitoring of the infamous Sheriff. Arpaio's vicious methods of racial profiling are a national disgrace, and all of us should welcome a court appointed monitor who will oversee the retraining of deputies, and more. Racial profiling is a thorn in the fabric of this nation if left unresolved.

Whether it's against Blacks, Latinos, Muslims, immigrants or any other group, racial profiling cannot and will not ever be tolerated. We welcome the court monitor in this case as it is a step in the right direction against the blatant discriminatory acts of Sheriff Arpaio, and his so-called rule of law. The countless nameless, faceless activists who pushed back against his egregious behavior can take comfort in knowing that the tide is turning.

For the rest of the column please see Huffingtonpost  

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