2020 Elections & Civil Rights: Voter Suppression and Voter ID Laws

2020 Elections & Civil Rights: Voter Suppression and Voter ID Laws

Currently, various forms of voter suppression tactics exist throughout the country. Some examples are voter ID laws in North Carolina, the implementation of one ballot box per county in Texas, and fires set to ballot boxes in California.

The long struggle for African American voting rights was part of a centuries-old effort to ensure that the United States Constitution applied to all citizens, not just white male landowners. Despite the passage of many constitutional amendments, federal and state laws, and Supreme Court cases, the full participation of every American citizen in elections is an ideal that has never been reached. Learning about voting rights as civil rights and seeing it as an ongoing struggle for segments of the American population is essential to ensuring students learn about civil rights as an ongoing process. The fight for civil rights is not just a past occurrence. 

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for “Voter Suppression and the 2020 Election"

Links

“ANALYSIS: NEW AND AGE-OLD VOTER SUPPRESSION TACTICS AT THE HEART OF THE 2020 POWER STRUGGLE”
https://publicintegrity.org/politics/elections/ballotboxbarriers/analysis-voter-suppression-never-went-away-tactics-changed/

“US election 2020: Why it can be hard to vote in the US”
https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54240651

“Guns, Lies, and Ballots Set on Fire: This is voter suppression in 2020”
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/10/29/2020-election-voter-suppression-looks-like-guns-lies-and-fires/6044702002/

“Why this election calls into question whether America is a democracy”
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/30/is-america-a-democracy-us-election-fight-to-vote

“Voter Identification Requirements: Voter ID Laws”
https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/voter-id.aspx

“In 34 states, you’ll need to show ID to vote on Election Day. See what the law requires in each state.”
https://www.businessinsider.com/voter-identification-requirements-in-each-state-2020-8

“10 Voter Fraud Lies Debunked”
https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/10-voter-fraud-lies-debunked

Assessment

  • Debate: Voter ID requirements are a solution in search of a problem.  
  • Poll: Should requiring a valid drivers license be necessary to vote?
  • Should the federal government take over the administration of elections in the United States?
  • Short Answer: Critics claim that current voter suppression is simply a continuation of America’s long history of restricting the right to vote.  Why?

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Featured Image Credit: Missvain/https://twitter.com/RepTerriSewell/status/644179710130450432/photo/1 

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