Hello! You are part of a community of millions who seek out Democracy Now! for ad-free daily news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for our in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the voices of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We produce all of this news at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation. We do this without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on support from viewers and listeners like you. Today, less than 1% of our visitors support Democracy Now! with a donation each year. If even 3% of our website visitors donated just $12 per month, we could cover our basic operating expenses for a year. Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make a monthly contribution.

Your Donation: $
Monday, January 15, 2001 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: "But If Not" Speech By Martin Luther King

Putting the Race in Election Races: Voter Disenfranchisement From the Segregationist 60’s Totoday

download:   Audio Get CD/DVD More Formats
This is viewer supported news

Last week, civil rights groups filed a lawsuit against Florida election officials on behalf of thousands of blacks,saying they were denied the right to vote in the presidential election because of institutionalized racism.

The suit asks a federal judge to overhaul how Florida’s elections are run. It advocates getting rid of punch-cardballots used in 25 counties, fixing the system for purging voter lists and monitoring state elections for 10 years.

Also last week, a federal commission began hearings in Tallahassee on voting problems in the presidential election.The panel heard accusations of harassment, voter registration irregularities, illegal voting-poll purges and accountsof a state patrol road block set up election morning near a precinct.

Lawful voters were purged from registration lists and some voters were not given required language assistance. Also,about 17,000 letters were sent out informing people they couldn’t vote because they were convicted felons, even thoughmany were not.

"This thing is so massive," said Adora Obi Nweze, Florida president of the National Association for the Advancement ofColored People. "It’s scary to think about what the numbers could be."

The pattern of disenfranchisement of people of color harkens back to one of the most hard-fought battles of the civilrights era, to a form of discrimination that many Americans assumed had ended when poll taxes and rigged literacytests were declared illegal. But it appears that although some of the techniques of voter disenfranchisement havechanged, the exclusion of people of color endures. This time it may have gained George W. Bush the presidency.

Charlie Cobb’s activism has spanned both eras.


  • Charlie Cobb, was a field secretary for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee [SNCC] inMississippi from 1962-67. Currently, he is senior writer for allafrica.com Cobb is co-author, with Robert Moses, ofthe soon-to-be-published book, ??Radical Equations, Math Literacy and Civil Rights.

Related link:

Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

This is viewer supported news