Civil rights group warns of 'insidious and coordinated campaign to obliterate' access to voting

Civil rights group warns of 'insidious and coordinated campaign to obliterate' access to voting
January 19, 2019 San Francisco / CA / USA - Participant to the Women's March event holds sign referencing voting suppression, gerrymandering while marching on Market street in downtown San Francisco Shutterstock/ Sundry Photography

Extremist groups and lawmakers are engaged in an "insidious and coordinated” plot to undermine American democracy. That's according to a newly issued report from the nonpartisan civil rights organization National Urban League (NUL).

The report, titled "Under Siege: The Plot to Destroy Democracy," documents the “conspiracy and the urgent case for a national mobilization to protect and defend our most sacred constitutional right”. NUL specifically notes four key tactics in the effort: gerrymandering, voter suppression, misinformation and intimidation.

In 2021 alone, 20 states have leveraged census data to redraw congressional maps, it noted. It labeled the new maps proposed by Republican state lawmakers “no more than modern-day gerrymandering that strips voting power away from communities with Black and brown voters."

By NUL's count, 34 laws were passed in 19 states between January 1 and December 7 2021 that make it more difficult for people to vote.

In addition to shortening the window to apply and deliver mail ballots, it says, those laws limit absentee voting lists, restrict assistance in returning a voter’s mail ballot, reduce the availability of mail ballot drop boxes, and increase barriers for voters with disabilities, among other restrictions.

"The burden of these laws – strict photo ID requirements, the elimination or restriction of Sunday voting, voting by mail and early voting, and the closing of polling locations – overwhelmingly falls on Black voters,” Marc Morial, president and CEO of NUL, said in the report.

“Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, the United States has seen a steady rise in disenfranchisement practices giving one party an edge over the other. But never before has the nation seen such an insidious and coordinated campaign to obliterate the very principle of ‘one person, one vote’ from the political process.”

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