All Articles Tagged "African-American vote"
(Washington Post) — Looking to capitalize on their historic gains last year, Republican lawmakers in several states are rewriting their election laws in ways that could make it more difficult for Democrats to win. They have curbed early voting, rolled back voting rights for ex-felons and passed stricter voter ID laws. Taken together, the measures could have a significant and negative effect on President Obama’s reelection efforts if they keep young people and minorities away from the polls. “It all hits at the groups that had higher turnout and higher registration in 2008,” said Judith Browne-Dianis, a civil rights lawyer who co-directs the Advancement Project, which has been tracking the new regulations. Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering the latest, and perhaps most potent, legislation,a measure that would divvy up electoral votes by congressional district rather than use the winner-takes-all approach. The change would almost ensure a net gain of 20 to 24 GOP electoral votes in the 2012 presidential election.
(BET) — The NAACP Legal Defense Fund has extended its help to Black Florida voters seeking to defeat a proposed law that allegedly discriminates against African-Americans. The LDF filed a motion Tuesday seeking to intervene in a lawsuit on behalf of the Florida State Conference of the NAACP and African-American voters to prevent Florida from implementing a law that would bring significant changes to voting schedules and registration requirements that the plaintiffs say will elbow Blacks out of the polls.
Blacks in California have just won a major political victory by preserving the congressional districts that give voice to African-American communities in the state. The existence of districts that reflect the reality of black areas is what enables them to choose representatives that serve each district’s best interests. In a recent battle during a major redistricting process, members of the media and GOP in California attempted to dilute black political power in the state by redrawing political maps to divide black communities and annex them to other districts. Claims were made that these steps were necessary due to changes in populations, but black leaders in the areas in question knew the real motivation at work: the desire of the GOP to reduce the numbers of African-Americans holding seats in Congress and on the state government level.
Through hard work and meticulous planning, opponents to this grasp for power formed the African American Redistricting Collaborative (AARC) and successfully prevented any political losses. That’s right. This amazing coalition was able to preserve every traditionally black district, ensuring that potent leaders like Rep. Maxine Waters did not lose her position due to devious means. Newamericamedia.org describes the political maneuvers unleashed in an attempt to destroy black representation:
…[S]henanigans persisted. For example, the Mayor of Hawthorne appeared midway through the process to declare, much to the surprise of anyone who has ever looked at a map, that landlocked Hawthorne is a “beach-city” and should be grouped with its more affluent neighbors to the west.
The results of such a shift would have been drastic and disturbed the delicate balance of the African American population in Southeast Los Angeles County. Grouping Hawthorne with the western coastal communities would have led to a decline in African American representation. The move was a direct attack again on Rep. Waters’ district.
Not surprisingly, conservative members of the commission picked up this strange claim and ran with the “Hawthorne is a beach city” mantra until they were defeated when the final maps were approved.
Fortunately, a coalition of African American leaders and community organizations came together early in the process to form the African American Redistricting Collaborative (AARC).
AARC was able to anticipate these attacks, prepare and mobilize black communities, engage attorneys to provide a legal basis for our position, and ultimately preserve all of the current black districts in California.
(AJC) — Republicans, already holding a majority of the state’s congressional delegation, could strengthen their grip under proposed congressional maps released Monday as part of the redistricting process. For the first time in modern memory, Republicans would represent a portion of the city of Atlanta in the U.S. House with the placement of a piece of Buckhead in the 11th Congressional District, which is represented by Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta. The maps also would leave Rep. John Barrow, one of the few remaining white Southern Democrats in the U.S. House, drawn out of his district. The plans released by Georgia’s Republican leadership in the General Assembly also would create a new congressional district that would lean toward the GOP. The release is the final major piece of the redistricting puzzle, the process following the U.S. census where lawmakers redraw the state’s congressional boundaries.
(The Daily Beast) — How did Cornel West become the administration’s No. 1 gadfly? The noted African-American scholar and radio host may have helped Barack Obama into the White House, but he has spent the better part of the president’s term taking shots at him, calling him a “black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs,” among other names. “These last few weeks have only proven my point about Brother Obama,” West says in his signature “one love” voice as he talks about the debt-reduction debacle on Capitol Hill. “He simply caved in again.” Never mind the slings and arrows of Tea Partiers. The most politically problematic criticism of Obama these days is coming from his base. And there’s no question that there is a deep reservoir of frustration, confusion, and even rage among many in the African-American community for West to tap into. With unemployment hovering near 17 percent for African-Americans (the national average rate is 9 percent) and 11 percent of black homeowners facing imminent foreclosure, African-Americans have ample reason for anxiety about the coming budget cuts that Obama reluctantly signed into law this month.
(Washington Post) — Virginia New Majority, a civil rights group, has launched a campaign to get 20,000 immigrant and African-American voters to the polls to help elect progressive legislators in Virginia this November. Dozens of activists from across the nation have arrived in Virginia prior to the Aug. 23 primary to begin knocking on doors. They spoke to 300 potential voters Tuesday night about immigration reform and the possibility of uranium mining in Southside Virginia.
(Baltimore Sun) — The Ehrlich campaign’s alleged effort to keep blacks from voting last November could have the opposite effect for years to come, according to political observers who said indictments over the automated phone calls would become election-season fodder for Democrats. Tantalizing details suggesting an organized strategy of black voter suppression emerged Thursday when Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich’s campaign manager and political consultant were charged with violating election laws. The details filled out a narrative that the Democratic Party went to great pains in November to promote: Maryland Republicans are dirty tricksters. At a news conference then, top officials, including Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, rehashed a series of election episodes such as busloads of homeless Philadelphians being recruited to hand out misleading campaign fliers in 2006.
(Chicago Sun Times) — Rahm Emanuel’s big victory in last month’s mayoral election was so resounding that he carried more than four out of every five precincts, according to a Chicago Sun-Times analysis that offers the first neighborhood-level look at how the mayor’s race was won. Emanuel came out on top in 2,106 of the city’s 2,570 precincts, the analysis found. Beyond that, it found that despite the presence in the mayoral election of former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, who emerged as the consensus African-American candidate, nearly every majority-black precinct went for Emanuel, whose campaign got a show of support from his former boss, President Obama. That helped Emanuel win 55 percent of the votes — enough to win the mayor’s race outright and avoid a runoff.
In 2008, voters, especially African Americans, who resonated with Barack Obama’s call for change, exceeded all expectations and moved to elect him into office. According to the Census Bureau, 64.7 percent of Blacks voted in the presidential elections compared to 64.4 percent whites.
The potential outcome of that election almost looked grim until the final count solidified Obama’s place in the White House for the next four years. The political contest is heating up again as Republicans attempt to sway potential voters who are displeased by the president and Congress’ work thus far. And just as in 2008, Black voters are being called on once again.
It’s getting pretty desperate for both sides in the final days leading up to the election. So much so that the Tea Party Nation sent an email to Minnesota voters calling for them to back independent Lynne Torgerson over Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison because of his Muslim religion.
According to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll, Republicans are closing in and taking influence over women, Roman Catholics, less affluent Americans and independents, all of whom were groups that supported the president two years ago and Congressional Democrats four years ago.
While the Democratic National Convention has launched a $50 million program, placing staffers and volunteers on the ground to knock on doors and make phone calls to ensure that those who committed to voting this past summer will in fact do so come November 2nd, they have also gone on the offensive. An analysis of nearly 900,000 airings from January 1 to October 5 by the Wesleyan Media Project–which was established in 2010 to track advertising in federal elections–found a similar rate of negative ads from both parties; however, the Democrats are running a higher rate of negative ads by going after their opponents’ personal character.
All mudslinging aside, it will be the voters who have the final say about who will control the incoming Congress. The only question is which voting group will have the most influence?
Historically, Black voter turnout is lower than that of Whites during midterm elections, but “that doesn’t mean that African Americans as a rule won’t turnout for midterm elections,” said David Bositis, a senior political analyst for the Joint Center for Political & Economic Study. It’s not always the case that African Americans will have a significant impact on the outcome of the elections. It depends on where the competitive elections are. “There have been years where they have [had] tight elections in Washington state or South Dakota, both of which do not have a high population of Black voters,” says Bositis. But this year, “the competitive elections are in states where there are a significant number of Black voters.”