Senator Dick Durbin,
Section 5 of The Voter’s Rights Act should not be lifted, for it has served a supreme purpose and needs to be maintained. It is not a question of whether or not the 16 states with a history of racial discrimination, especially concerning voting, are beyond those years of discrimination. It is a question of do we truly, as a nation and as rational people, believe that racism is fully behind us? I do not believe so.
It may be sad to think that as a nation we still need to have our hand held on issues such as discrimination, especially based on race, but we do. With the many incidents of prejudice against Hispanic aliens and even citizens it is not farfetched to believe that some states may discriminate in voting registration and voting acts. Also, in the past few years children are still dying due to racial profiling; if children are still being racially profiled then people attempting to vote can surely be racially profiled especially in an effort to influence a state’s outcome.
There have already been significant steps in eliminating the minority vote. For example, Florida and the disenfranchisement of ex-felons; ex-felons could possibly be headed into a trap of voter’s fraud. Tampa Florida for instance is a place where people desperately need a voice in government. Twenty-six percent of the population is black, and nearly one in five city residents lives below the poverty line. A July report from the Sentencing Project shows that Florida has the distinction of being the felony disenfranchisement capital of the nation, with more than a million of its citizens struck from the rolls. Nearly a quarter of all African-Americans of voting age in Florida are affected by the felon laws, as are one in thirteen black adults nationally. Nearly 8 percent of African-American adults are disenfranchised, as opposed to less than 2 percent of the non-African-American population. Do we as a nation really think that discrimination is behind us, or is it under our feet and over our heads?