Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) were the only presidential candidates to speak last night at the Selma Presidential Forum, moderated by MSNBC’s Joy Reid and Rev. Mark Thompson.
“I want people to be shocked by the fact that one of the two major political parties in this country plans to win, and they’re pretty open about it, by keeping African Americans from voting,” Warren said. “We need to get out there and start arguing for a constitutional amendment to protect the right for every American citizen to vote and to get that vote counted… put some federal muscle behind this.”
Klobuchar made her pitch for why Alabama Democrats and voters across the country should vote for her by calling herself a leader on voting rights, and vowing to get automatic voter registration passed, ban voter roll purges, and ban gerrymandering.
Known as “Bloody Sunday,” the brutal attack on nonviolent African American protesters in Selma, AL, sparked a revolution that led to the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965. Civil rights groups honored those who marched the Edmund Pettus Bridge 55 years ago by marching across it earlier in the day. (watch here)
New Generation of African American Leadership on Voting Rights: Despite the passage of the VRA, voters of color continue to be systematically disenfranchised. African American leaders like Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams, former First Lady Michelle Obama, and former Attorney General Eric Holder have all taken on various forms of voter suppression since leaving public service.
After losing the 2018 gubernatorial race in Georgia, Abrams founded two groups aimed at combating voter suppression and making sure everyone is counted in the 2020 census. Obama joined dozens of celebrities, athletes, and public figures to register and turnout young voters. As for Holder, he co-founded the National Demcoratic Redistricting Committee — a group working to end partisan and racial gerrymandering. (read more)
Civil Rights Groups Beef Up Their Efforts to Protect the Vote: With growing concerns about technology failing, disinformation, and voter suppression efforts throughout the country, civil rights groups are taking no chances. Voters will have a host of resources if they encounter voting issues, and hotlines will be available in a number of languages. (read more)
500,000+ Georgia Voters at Risk of Being ‘Potentially Disenfranchised’: While early voting will take place over a three-week period, one county’s seven satellite locations will not open until the second week. That difference “will result in extreme burdens on the fundamental right to vote in the March 2020 primary election and potential disenfranchisement,” according to a federal lawsuit filed last week by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and other civil rights groups. (read more)
Cybersecurity Concerns Loom Over Caucus States: After nearly a month of confusion and controversy over a mobile app, the Iowa Democratic Party finally certified its presidential caucus results. But the Associated Press took the rare step of deciding not to declare a winner after “technical glitches that led to a delay in reporting the results, inconsistencies in the numbers and no clear winner.” (read more)
Meanwhile, Nevada’s caucus results are under scrutiny after the state Democratic party sent precinct captains the wrong early vote totals. The total vote counts were correct, but the party reportedly mixed up which totals belonged to each precinct. Those human errors led former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to call for a government-run primary instead of a party-run caucus in 2024. (read more)
Get your read on with our picks of the week:
- Judge Rejects Ballot Secrecy Case Against Georgia Voting Touchscreens (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
- Palm Beach County’s New Voting Machines Are Publicly Put to the Test (Palm Beach Post)
- Brian Kemp Seemed to Really Enjoy Suppressing Votes, Report Finds (New York Magazine)
- Wisconsin Appeals Court Keeps Voters Facing Purge on Rolls (Courthouse News)
- Utah Lawmakers, Anti-Gerrymandering Group Reach Deal on Prop 4 (Salt Lake Tribune)
- Transgender Voters May Be Turned Away In 2020 Election, Report Says (Huffington Post)