DOJ Shifted Election Monitoring from Black to Hispanic Counties
The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division deployed personnel to 35 jurisdictions in 19 states in order to monitor “compliance with the federal voting rights laws.” While DOJ said it was doing so to ensure voters were not subjected to different voting qualifications or procedures on the basis of race and to make sure there was compliance with the Voting Rights Act, digging into the Census data of the 35 counties Justice listed showed a bias. DOJ dropped 40 counties from those monitored by the Obama administration in 2016 and added 15 new ones. WaPoreports that the counties added had an average Hispanic density of 24%, while the counties that were dropped had an average density of Black residents of about 20%. While there is no evidence of non-citizens voting in elections, DOJ appears to be incorporating Donald Trump’s focus on the issue and claims that “millions of people” have voted illegally into its election monitoring. And by dropping areas with Black residents, it appears to be backing away from protecting the right to vote for African Americans. In light of the president’s racist rhetoric on immigration, his continued mocking of prominent Black figures, and his attempts to suppress and intimidate voters, the move comes as no surprise. More here.