Another tactic, favored in Texas and Florida, is to target nonprofit groups that conduct voter-registration drives (the League of Women Voters, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). This is achieved by imposing onerous new training, registration and/or liability burdens on the groups’ volunteers. The proportion of African-American and Latino voters who register through third-party drives is about twice what it is for whites.
Closing the polls
Since lower-income voters more often work early in the morning or late at night, Republicans tend to favor shorter polling hours. They justify this with feigned concern about taxing the stamina of (often elderly) volunteers.
A similarly motivated opposition has mobilized against early voting arrangements that let people vote on weekends. Sunday voting is a particular target. The stated reason is that it’s impious. (Glenn Beck: “This is an affront to God.”) The actual reason is that Sunday voting allows black churches to provide “souls to polls” transport after services. Ohio and Florida have eliminated it.
States have to update their voter lists, right? Federal law requires certain safeguards, such as notifying those found ineligible so they can dispute erroneous removals. But many such formalities go unobserved, especially if you purge close enough to Election Day.
A variation on purging is caging, wherein nonforwardable letters are sent to voters in African-American neighborhoods. Whichever letters get returned unopened occasion instant purges. The Republican National Committee got caught doing this in the 1980s, and now the party is not allowed to under a consent decree. But considerable evidence suggests the GOP has quietly resumed the practice anyway.
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