Web Extra: The Fight — and the Right — to Vote

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This week, Bill spoke with Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Ari Berman, a journalist with The Nation for our show “The Fight — and the Right — to Vote.” We wanted to bring you some of the important content that didn’t fit in the broadcast version, and further explore the voter suppression efforts that began after SCOTUS invalidated a crucial component of the Voting Rights Act last year. See the three video clips below for more details.

The Truth About Voter Fraud

Voter fraud at the polls, which is highly unusual, is distracting attention from the conversation we should be having about a pattern of low voter turnout on Election Day, especially in midterm elections. But Ifill and Berman find there is, paradoxically, some hope to be found in these voter suppression efforts.

On a Texas Judge’s Ruling That Voter ID Law Intentionally Discriminates

Ifill talks about the significance of a federal district judge’s recent ruling in Texas that found the new voter ID laws intentionally discriminate against minorities. Ifill also puts the troubles we’re seeing today in the historical context of Democratic efforts to suppress the vote decades ago.

On North Carolina as the “Most Extreme Example of Changing the Entire Electoral System”

In 1996, North Carolina ranked 43rd in voter turnout, before passing reforms to increase the number of people voting. It worked and by 2012, they were 11th in voter turnout. But instead of celebrating this improvement, “people viewed it as a bad thing, that somehow they needed to make it harder for certain segments of the electorate to vote,” Berman says.

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