September 20, 2017
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Voting Rights – And Wrongs

 

This presidential election is the first since the Supreme Court struck down voter rights protections that had been in place since the Civil Rights Era. Since that 2013 decision, states across the country have rushed to pass new laws that make it harder to vote. Reveal examines whether these laws are fighting fraud or simply keeping people of color from voting.

First, we meet Alberta Currie, an 82-year-old African American woman. Born at home in North Carolina, she never had a birth certificate but nonetheless never had trouble voting – that is, until a new state law kicked in for this year’s presidential primary.

Next, we head to the Lone Star State, where Texas passed the strictest voter ID law in the country. The governor there says the law is urgently needed to address rampant voter fraud. Reveal’s Laura Starecheski looks into that claim and finds a 100-year legacy of laws that has kept black and Latino voters away from the polls.

With the help of the Houston Chronicle, Starecheski also tells the story of Pasadena, Texas, a suburb where the Hispanic majority remains on the political sidelines. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision, the city’s white mayor has been able to redraw its City Council districts in the white minority’s favor.

And finally, we meet up with Ari Berman of The Nation, who visits a state where the government is actually tearing down barriers to voting: Oregon. Berman investigates a new way of registering voters there that makes it practically automatic.

DIG DEEPER

  • Explore: Houston Chronicle’s coverage of voting rights fights in Texas
  • Read: Ari Berman’s latest story on how one state is disenfranchising black voters

CREDITS

Support for Reveal is provided by The Reva and David Logan Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Mary and Steven Swig.

Thanks to WHYY for production help on this week's show.

Track list:

  • Camerado, “True Game (Reveal show theme)” (Cut-Off Man Records)
  • Actress, “Ivy May Gilpin” from “Hazyville” (Ninja Tune)
  • Chris Bathgate, “Nicosia (instrumental)” from “Nicosia” (Quiet Scientific)
  • Chris Bathgate, “Nicosia (instrumental)” from “Nicosia” (Quiet Scientific)
  • Nick Jaina, “I'll Become Everything” from “Primary Perception Instrumentals” (Needle Drop Co.)
  • Loch Lomond, “Soft River (Instrumental)” from “Pens from Spain Instrumentals” (Needle Drop Co.)
  • Ryan Cross, “White Chocolate” from “Dah Gunk” (Needle Drop Co.)
  • Anitek, “Honey Creeper” from “Lily” (Dusted Wax Kingdom)
  • Nick Jaina, “True Hearts” from “Primary Perception Instrumentals” (Needle Drop Co.)
  • Nick Jaina, “I'll Become Everything” from “Primary Perception Instrumentals” (Needle Drop Co.)
  • American Football, “For Sure” from “American Football” (Polyvinyl)
  • Kris Keogh, “As meteor showers melted your heart” from “Processed Harp Works, Volume 1” (New Weird Australia)
  • Nick Jaina, “Man Without A Head” from “Primary Perception Instrumentals” (Needle Drop Co.)
  • Nick Jaina, “True Hearts” from “Primary Perception Instrumentals” (Needle Drop Co.)
  • American Football, “The One With the Wurlitzer” from “American Football” (Polyvinyl)
  • Steve Combs, “Useless Love” from “Suburban Ghosts”
  • Anitek, “The 3rd” from “Lily” (Dusted Wax Kingdom)
  • Anitek, “Fusiform” from “Lily” (Dusted Wax Kingdom)
  • Anitek, “Plethora” from “Lily” (Dusted Wax Kingdom)
  • Anitek, “The 3rd” from “Lily” (Dusted Wax Kingdom)
  • Anitek, “Strange Sensations” from “Lily” (Dusted Wax Kingdom)
  • Anitek, “Plethora” from “Lily” (Dusted Wax Kingdom)
  • Hollow & Akimbo, “Singularity (Osborne Remix)” from “Singularity” (Ghostly International)

 - Originally appeared at revealnews.org