A voter fraud investigation is underway in Alabama after a July 17 primary saw a surge in the number of absentee ballots.
But others see it as a means to attack the state’s mostly black and largely Democratic base.
Secretary of State John Merrill said he will examine the ballots in Wilcox and Perry counties in Alabama, and they are also currently reviewing other possible counties.
“We started with those two but we’re not ending with those two,” said Merrill last week, AL.com reports.
At issue is the number of voter turnout in the state’s smallest and poorest counties. Merrill said the numbers inWilcox County—tripled the state’s approximately 14 percent turnout rate.
Last year, Doug Jones pulled off his historic election to the United States Senate from Alabama thanks in large part to Black voters.
According to CNN, Black voters showed up for Jones in greater numbers than ever before, making up 30 percent of the electorate. For comparison, that’s higher than the numbers for the 2008 and 2012 elections of Barack Obama.
And Alabama isn’t the only state attempting to reduce Black voter turnout. Other states across the country are attempting to redraw districts, enact discriminatory voter ID laws and reduce voting hours and polling stations in Black communities.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder has a lot to say about the upcoming 2018 midterm elections and the political climate that has been fostered by the GOP and the Trump Administration to limit voting rights.
Holder is the chair of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) which serves as a strategic hub for developing a comprehensive redistricting strategy. The group believes the only way to truly restore fairness to politics is to combat the unscrupulous Republican gerrymandering that, in the group’s words, is ‘plaguing our country.’
“It’s no secret that states that are the most gerrymandered also have the most restrictive voter I.D laws — laws which consistently (and disproportionately) affect African-Americans and other minorities.
During the redistricting process that happened in 2011, republicans used new technology to take gerrymandering to unprecedented levels,” Holder said at event in Washington, D.C. Monday. “By creating safe districts – they locked themselves into power and they shut out voters from the electoral process. In particular, they used racial gerrymandering to pack minorities into districts in ways that diminished their voting power […]. It’s not a coincidence that after they gerrymandered states like Texas, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin to lock in their power in the state legislature, they systematically passed voter I.D laws.
The North Carolina legislature passed a law which one federal judge said targeted African-Americans, ‘with surgical precision.’
You have to understand, for a judge to use that kind of language is an indication of how strongly that judge felt. Federal judges are very careful with the language that they use. To say ‘with surgical precision’ is a testament to how bad the situation was – and is – in North Carolina. Republicans have systematically attacked American’s right to vote and voting power. ”
The key state elections that the NDRC is focused on this year are: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. And additional states on their watch list include: Arizona, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah.