Friday, October 22, 2004

Bush Administration Limits Voting Rights

Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, the Justice Department has fought to protect and expand the right to vote for of all citizens. All of that has changed during John Ashcroft's tenure as Attorney General. Rather than defending voters' rights, Ashcroft is using the resources of his department to prevent eligible voters from casting their ballot and has refused to prosecute cases of voter discrimination and intimidation.

  • The Bush administration is actively trying to stop Americans from exercising their right to vote. On Monday, the Justice Department filed an 11th-hour brief in Michigan district court opposing efforts by civil rights groups to ensure that registered voters who appear in the right city, township or village – but the wrong precinct – have their votes counted. The right to a so-called "provisional ballot" was explicitly endorsed by Congress in the 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) which sought to correct many of the problems associated with the 2000 election. Federal judge David M. Lawson yesterday ruled against the Justice Department's position and said their brief added "nothing to the arguments."

  • The Bush administration refuses to fight against voter discrimination. Under Ashcroft's command, the Civil Rights Division of Justice has avoided prosecuting nearly all alleged cases of voter discrimination against minorities. The Justice Department has filed one discrimination case in three years, a case in Colorado it later lost.

  • Americans expect their government to protect and expand voting rights, not restrict them. The Bush administration takes the opposite view – use government resources to challenge voters and restrict the rights of all Americans to express their political preferences.

    Post a Comment

    << Home