tv After Words Carol Anderson One Person No Vote CSPAN September 30, 2018 9:01pm-10:01pm EDT
maryland. a weekly interview program with guest host interviewing top nonfiction authors about their latest work. >> i'm delighted to be here with professor carol andersen. kaiser andersen, before we get into the book, say a word about where you grew up in where you live now on what you're doing. >> guest: so, i grew up in columbus, ohio appeared my father was a military man. spent 20 years plus in the military and from there, i went to school, got my phd and now i live in atlanta and a professor there. >> host: wonderful. you are the best-selling author of a book called weight range, which is not our topic today, they say a word if you would. >> guest: white bridge emerged out of looking at the uprising in ferguson and realizing how badly framed in terms of the narrative that was. because in all that rage that
people were seen, they were missing the ways policies have systematically been set in place a west african-americans had been come in these policies go to systematically undermine them. that was the genesys in fact a one-person -- "one person, no vote." >> host: yeah, so white rage lead you directly to "one person, no vote" peered >> guest: absolutely. let me there because without giving talks on white bridge and i would get to that chapter, how-to and elect a black president. one of those components that was voter suppression. i get a question, but i don't understand. you need an i.d. to check out a library book. how hard is that to get an i.d.? you've got to protect the integrity of our democracy. then i would rely voter fraud and then begin to explain the kinds of barriers that the state government has put in the way of
the citizens. so it's not just a library card. but it is a particular type of ip that demographic implications so you create an obstacle and then you create an obstacle to the obstacle and people would shatter. so that led me to go, okay, i really need to lay this out. posted in a systematic treatment of the right to vote. we have a schizophrenic relationship to the right to vote. on one hand there's a romance about voting that we believe is the essence of democracy and without voting and want everybody to vote. when you look the real world history, it's been extremely contested and it's been violently challenged in many points. >> yes, absolutely. one of the things i talk about is that america is really an aspirational mission and it's in those aspirations we the people, we hold these truths to be self-evident.
leader of the free world, those kinds of aspirations. it's based on those aspirations are not those hard-core realities where people have fought in order to gain access to their citizenship rights. the right to vote is one of those clear ones. >> host: so, in the old days, disenfranchisement of african-americans was crystal clear. they were things like literacy test, poll taxes, grandfather clauses, ku klux klan, intimidation at the polls, bob moses was nearly killed several times just trying to register the people to vote in mississippi. we are living in a slightly more subtle aged disenfranchisement, are we? >> guest: yes we are. but there's something about the old-school way of doing it but actually is replicated in the way we are doing it now.
so when in 1890 with the mississippi plan, which is the first massive disfranchisement post-civil war, what mississippi did, mississippi looked up and said there's this thing called the 15th amendment. that means we can say we don't want black people to vote because there's that cause in the 15th amendment about not discriminating on account of race. so how do we get black people to not vote without saying in the lot we don't black people to vote. so what they did was they took the kinder societally impose conditions, characteristics of black people and then wrote that into the law. you don't find black schools, about 252% according to an naacp in mid-1940s. and so then, when you've got a massive disparity, then what you do is require literacy tests.
not see run, run, but instead passages out of the state constitution. >> the voter registrar. >> right, so it was designed for people not to be able to pass this thing. >> those were depicted as neutral and objective tasks, right? >> exactly. it also had a kind of rationale behind it. he wanted an engaged citizenry that understood. uneducated that understood what the laws are. >> you want people invested in the community who aren't just been about for free but at least put in about 50. >> what they don't tell you is the rules were obtained. so when it was supposed to be paid, where it was supposed to be paid in the tax was cumulative. >> all enforced by racist voter registrars sue about the way people go and keep the black
ones out for any reason at all. >> exactly. because it was cumulative then you have massive poverty in those states, and again, you're using the characteristics. in mississippi, the annual income, annual family income was $70 figure. so what that means then is that they've been cumulative, you're asking people to take a major percentage of their annual income to pay to vote. it is a barrier. the thing we don't want black people to vote, that's what it does. by the time were in the 1940s, with the u.s., only 3% of age eligible african-americans are registered to vote in the south. 3%. >> 80 years after the civil war. >> yeah. >> remembered harper versus virginia board of elections, the
case of the poll tax and state elections the attorney general of virginia said what is about 50? can you take it out of his pocket and he said anybody started who's got it. but if you don't have it, you don't have it. and of course that was a lot of money for a lot of people. >> guest: it was a lot of money. so you take that any think about the way we do it now and this is where -- >> the voting rights act of 1965 as a critical, popular intervention against the regime of white supremacy in the south from especially the requirement saying that before jurisdictions maneuver to change voting practices that bring it to the department of justice for the federal district court in the district of columbia. in 2013 when the supreme court handed down another one of its infamous 5-for decisions county versus holder which is the beginning of this great book you've written, "one person, no vote," tells about shelby county
versus holder and tell us about the personnel involved including chief justice roberts. >> guest: so, with what shelby county the holder was about is in shelby county, alabama, the county commissioners have begun annexing the land around polaris city. with each annexation they are redrawing the district. in the redrawing of the district, there is this loan black councilman. by the time his district had been annexed and redrawn new boundaries and everything. he wasn't elected because now the majority of the people in this new district, those are the ones who voted against obama. over 70% had voted against obama. >> host: with the voting rights act is all about before you'd make a change like that where you got polarized voting in racially discriminatory
feeling and are about to make a radical change in the structure of voting come you've got a good record to show it's not going to have a negative retrogressive impact on african-american voters. >> guest: absolutely. none of this minority disparate impact. >> host: so what happened? >> guest: that case went all the way up to the supreme court. chief justice roberts wrote an opinion that today will go down in infamy. understand roberts lineage. roberts comes out of grand quest, william rehnquist was his mentor, intellectual guide. rehnquist really began his career as a voter suppress or in arizona. >> host: he would go to the polls and got to minority voters. >> guest: exactly. that kind of intimidation and we think about when we think about mississippi. but here we have rehnquist doing
it in arizona. >> host: you're telling me that a guy who got his start intimidating minority voters at the port and seven the u.s. supreme court. >> guest: yes, i am. >> host: what does robert do in shelby county? >> guest: so, roberts writes a decision that is so fact free but it could be fictional except for the incredible impact that it has. one of the things he said is that, you know, the voting rights act was born not of the kind of virulent racism that was prevalent in areas in the united states. we have moved beyond that. we have a black president, and collect it official, numerous latino like it official. black voter turnout rate is up. racism isn't the issue in america it has been. it is not clear why the act is still necessary.
what he had to ignore mr. in the reauthorization of the voting rights act in 2006, the department of justice -- as identified the department of justice had blocked over 700 changes to the voting laws in this covered jurisdictions. >> host: like the one in shelby county. which targeted black voting power. >> guest: exactly. these thoughts had racially discriminatory impact. >> host: and curious about what was the legal claim in shelby county versus holder because i always understood equal protection clause to be something that protects people and to protect states and were being mean to states by treating them differently in the preclearance process. >> guest: is that uniformity peace. they just pulled a rabbit out of the hat. >> the problem with that, so we have to go back to 1965 in the original voting rights act.
it didn't say okay, all states. had a couple of tasks. if fewer than 50% of your voting age are ready to vote, that might be the kind of canary in the mine. >> host: that's application of the voting rights act. >> guest: it wasn't just that. if you use one of these devices for eligibility to vote. >> host: like the literacy tests. >> guest: all of that. it wasn't just as, wasn't just that, with the combination of the two. >> it wasn't just in the south. further jurisdictions and western jurisdictions. >> guest: so what roberts talks about it, he talks about it as if the south is blameless, that nothing had happened. he is like this is just picking
on the south. it also ignores that there are other jurisdictions. jurisdictions in california, jurisdictions in new york. jurisdictions in arizona, in alaska. >> the voting rights act isn't about blaming. it's about getting everyone the right to vote. >> guest: you see how this gets split or this is part of a conservative narrative that arose in the wake of the civil rights movement. "after words" and reconstruction it was the rebellion against reconstruction of redemption. >> guest: this was an area that was being picked on. >> host: it was a noble cause and now people are being blamed forward and vilified for it and we need to rescue them. >> guest: think about it. was cast as the war of northern aggression except the south fired on fort sumter. and so, this kind of cherry-picking the facts are
ignoring the fact, there is a long lineage of this. this is what was happening here. >> host: your discussion of shelby county versus holder opens up into present-day america. what's been happening over the last five years? this book is hot off the press, rates like a newspaper. what are the practices you're writing about what the voter i.d. laws in the voter purges that have followed in the wake of the voting rights act case? >> guest: the first one a deal with his voter i.d. for that i'm going to have to go back to the infamous 2000 election. and that election, a lot of us focus in on florida in the hanging chads and the count and the recount, but it was what was going on in this area, and in st. louis that really began to start wielding the case for the why of voter fraud. and they are in st. louis, the st. louis board of elections had
purged -- illegally purged nearly 50,000 voters off of the rules shortly before the election. people come to vote. their names and the poll workers don't have any kind of evidence that they've been on before. they are calling in downtown to the board of elections, check it through. they are just sending people to the board. people are downtown and it's taking hours to get this thing resolved. meanwhile, the polls are getting ready to close. democrats go to the court saying we had voters who were illegally purged. they've taken all day to try to get this fixed. we need the polls to be open so american citizens can exercise their right to vote. in 45 minutes, so that judge said yes. will keep them open until 10:00. 45 minutes later the republicans have come in with a higher court
to shut down the polls at 7:45 and just leaves people hanging. and they justified it, the language that senator bond used, for instance come in to help with this is the case of rampant massive voter fraud. this is an attempt to steal this election by having people voting, by having people using addresses from vacant lots over and over. but even got thoughts on the role. >> at the former propaganda. >> guest: it is usda grade a prime piece propaganda. it is designed to stoke fear and american that democracy is in peril and it is imperiled by having these people. and it's very clear that when they identify the site of rampant massive voter fraud,
their cities where they have large minority populations and sometimes where minorities that the majority of the population. and so, they began this kind of orchestration of the propaganda. >> host: where the realm of pathology at this point. >> guest: we really are. keep saying it over and over, voter fraud, voter fraud, voter fraud. tragic as justification for victor conte and practices that keep people from being able to vote. >> guest: absolutely. without the light of voter fraud like why do we need an i.d. to vote? what you have then is a really simple formula. you create the aura of a nation in peril. and then you haven't been sent by respectable people. you know, senators, judges come of that sort of thing. and then you have what seems to be a very reasonable solution. all we are asking us for an idea so that people can, you know, we
can verify who you are. >> host: who gets left out of the voter i.d. system? >> guest: it sounds a reasonable period except it's not. because they have identified certain types of ideas. let me take alabama. what alabama did in 2011, it passed the voter i.d. law. now this is during the era of preclearance. this is pretty shelby county. this lie was so racist they knew they could never get it through the department of justice preclearance review. and they knew it was racist because they had taped themselves talking, saying how do we press the black voter turnout? who in these alerts will get on these had financed assets and go to the polls. >> right there explicitly.
>> that's why we have the preclearance requirement that got wiped out in the shelby county case. >> guest: exactly. alabama implements this law that sat on the shelf for a couple of years because they couldn't get it through. the law says you have to have government issued photo i.d. and they would define the kind of government issued photo i.d. that is acceptable to go vote. one of the things that cheryl is a soul, head of the naacp legal defense fund noted was that public housing i.d. was not on that list. alabama is a very poor state. you have lots of people in public housing. 71% are african-americans. public housing i.d. was not on that list. >> host: other states was acceptable, but a student i.d. was not.
>> guest: you get a public housing i.d. not acceptable. then what alabama does is the governor then shuts down the fiscal responsibility reasons because the budget is a state budget in crisis. we need to find cost savings. again, sounds reasonable. but then shuts down the department of motor vehicles in the black counties. now, the black belt counties are the counties where you have a sizable number of african-americans living. and so, if you shut down the department of motor vehicles in those counties coming out except in public housing i.d. although it doesn't get more government issued in public housing. then, but requires them is people who live in those counties to have to go 50 miles away or so, to be able to get the drivers license for this state i.d. to get to vote. >> host: if you live in public
housing are much less likely because they monday have a car. >> guest: remember how i talked about how the poll tax on after poverty? this is what we are seeing here. and you don't have public transportation to get you from one county to the next. and so you create an obstacle. >> it is tied to indicators are characteristics that overwhelmingly are disproportionately affecting the minority population. >> guest: exactly, exactly. >> host: butter per views you are at a rate about that. >> it does the same thing. what they do is hear you have registered voters. so you have folks who are actually on the voter rolls. and you fight them off. here's how it happens. the national voter registration act of 1993. >> host: the motor voter law.
>> guest: that was born out of the fact and 88 presidential elections the voter turnout rate was as low as it did then since 1924. congress going wow, where democracy and we barely made over 50% of people voting. motor voter law was the response. but that ban does you no longer just had to go to the board of elections to register to vote. you could register to vote when you're getting your drivers license. beginning to open up a gap. in the outlaw is language that the republicans required that you've got to maintain a voter roll. people moved out in her district, it sounds reasonable. people would've died or no blog roger voter rolls. but the log gives a series of tripwires that must be met you for you start moving people off the rolls. one of the things but you cannot remove people solely because
they have voted. the lies very clear on that. well, what we've seen, for instance, in ohio, their secretary of state has removed about 2 million people from the voter. this is a key swing state. 1.2 million of those for not voting. 1.2 million for not voting. in one of those major purges, 25% of those who were purged out of cuyahoga county, which is cleveland, democratic stronghold that also has a sizable number of african-americans. >> host: defenders say they have to send a letter to their home before they move them. >> guest: yes, there is this postcard that comes in with all of your junk mail. >> host: if you don't respond within 72 hours or something. >> guest: timeframe and on the lengthy one. it's not like three months.
>> host: if you don't respond will distribute you. >> guest: we will remove you from the polls. people have gone to the polls have also said i never got the card. we also need to be clear here. one of the things about not voting is what not voting does is that there is a differential. minorities don't vote in every election regularly. you still vote in every election. statistically. poor people don't vote in every election. basically whites who are republicans tend to be much more consistent voters than this demographic over here, which tend to be democratic voters. and so if what you use as a tripwire is just not voting, it allows you then to wipe out a large swath of democratic voters.
>> host: the supreme court has upheld the voter purges also. >> guest: in a decision this summer, the supreme court basically said you don't have the right to not vote. the way that you can make sure that you're not purged is to vote regularly. but think about it again. one of the things is in many of these states we have the voter i.d. laws. they require, for instance if we've got elderly people and not get back to the purge. if you've got elderly people who were born in very poor areas, many were born in a hospital. so they don't have a birth certificate. so we see, for instance, in indiana can in marion county indianapolis is in order to get a drivers license you have to have a birth certificate. well, in order to get a birth certificate, you've got to have a drivers license.
>> host: is a catch-22. >> guest: with the classic catch-22. one of the other methods of voter roll purges is something that is really insidious. it really has been given ethereal and under chris kovar, secretary of state under canvas. it is called cross checked. the way cross check were again is designed. it's got the wonderful sound. it is designed to make sure that our voter rolls are clean, and that we are in a very mobile society, that it's really hard to make sure that somebody is not registered in two states. and it plays to americans love of technology. and so, what happens then is right now with 27 states. at one point it'd been over 30 states had sent all of their voter data into arkansas and then chris kovar's canvas would
do the match and informed folks. if there was extensively at matches on first name, last name, and suffix, date of birth, last for social security. and so, if there is a james brown registered to vote in kansas and a james brown with substantively the same last for the social security in virginia, boom, removed off of the list because it looks like someone is trying to swing an election by voting twice. but that is not how cross check works. actually, the way cross check works is that many states don't really look at the social security number. >> host: all you've got is duplicate of names. we saw that in florida in 2000. katherine harris, where she
contracted with than a million dollars in a consultant. cast a wide net. maybe jimmy brown, james brown. let's just assume somebody's trying to vote more than once. >> guest: exactly. if the same philosophy. we come back to the 2000 election there is lots boiling there that became the blue plant for what we are seeing now. that was one of them. this checking means that james brown, james brown in georgia can look like james brown of virginia. >> host: let's not leave everybody hopeless here. what can be done about a situation? originally it would be the answer. the voting rights act has now been eviscerated in large part because of the destruction of the preclearance requirement in section four. so how are people fighting back and trying to make sure. >> one of the things people are
doing and messages are going now. ensure you are still on the voter roll. and ensure the website where they can check with their secretary of state to ensure they are still registered to vote and then tell people, make sure you print it out so that you've got visual proof when you get to the rolls. the other thing you can have a provisional ballot. what that provisional ballot allows you to go, but it won't be counted until you come back with proof the problem with that is that one third of provisional ballot are not counted. provisional ballots are used in
neighborhoods. congress will restore the voting rights act. that is alpha and omega. we have seen enough since shelby county to know unlike what john roberts believed, racism is alive and well. >> i know the purpose of your book is to get the country focused on this problem so we can defend voting rights. but if you're ever afraid and talking about the history they tend to exclude about, you're actually going to give people the impression that it's hopeless. >> guest: satisfy the last chapter on alabama is so important. tell us about it.
>> guest: it is uplifting. what happened in alabama on december 2017 for the u.s. senate retrained doug jones, who was the democratic challenger in judge roy moore, the republican candidate. judge roy moore was just an unbelievable candidate. chief justice of the alabama supreme court twice because he chose to abide by the constitution. i mean, it was just over and over. later on in the campaign allegations of sexual assault. >> host: very credible allegations. >> guest: very credible allegations were there. >> host: underage women. >> guest: when he was an assistant da. and then, and when he talked
about when america was great because the whole make america great again. he believed america was great. and that's when families stay together. unlike whose family because the whole point was telling black families, breaking them apart because he didn't even see families. you got a man who was on the cusp of getting into the u.s. senate in the 21st century, making allies for the united states of america based on the 19th century framework. and the only constituency that was powerful enough to stop him was a constituency that the alabama government had done every last voter suppression method. >> host: who's that? s. go black folk. they targeted those counties. like the shutting down of the department of motor vehicles in
those black counties. wow. you had massive voter roll purges certainly before the election. you had felony disenfranchisement. let me talk about felony disfranchisement. in 1901 when alabama was writing his jim crow constitution, it had language in their say and if you have been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude, then you do not have the right to vote. you have lost your right to vote. alabama refused to define moral turpitude. there's no crime on the books. totally bag. so people weren't sure whether they had good to be able to vote you might just get hit with another felony if your crime was something that walked up to. and so, you had several society, the naacp, lds, aclu view
pounding, pounding on alabama to define moral turpitude. finally in 2017, alabama defines it. in the spring of 2017. crimes like murder, a, treason, the biggies, moral turpitude. and so, these groups turn to secretary of state john merrill and they say, okay, all of those people that you have informed that they lost the right to vote because of moral turpitude, now tell them that they actually have their rights. and when i say all of those people, 8% of adults in alabama were disfranchised because of a felony, and because of moral turpitude. 15% of african-americans were disfranchised because of moral turpitude. and he said i just don't think that's a really good use of state resources.
and so here we are coming up on this election, and this key election. we've got 15% of black adult thinking that they can't vote. so civil society grows up. the aclu of alabama, the legal society and the women's group. the women were players. america would be in so much trouble right now if it weren't for the women. particular black women. >> host: .leave to a question i have, which is how do you write a book like this without seeming like you're being a total partisan. it doesn't read like a piece of democratic party propaganda. it is implicated in disenfranchisement as the republican party. but these days you speak up for the right to go, everyone thinks are speaking up for democrats. >> guest: is making a really
clear because one of the things we are laying out in their is the horrific effect on american democracy that voter suppression has. if you believe in america, if you believe in democracy, if you believe in just other human beings in this nation. >> host: you want everyone to vote. >> guest: that's what a vibrant democracy looks like. so what we have right now is we are calling the electorate and i think one of the key areas where we are doing that is gerrymandering. gerrymandering is a way where politicians are able to choose their voters instead of voters being able to choose their representatives. in alabama and then i'm going to get back to gerrymandering. alabama had also gerrymandered that state. now it might look like that when counting the senate. but what gerrymandering does is it depresses the vote because it
demoralizes people because they think the system is rigged in their vote won't count. >> host: you don't have competitive elections, people don't turn out. >> guest: you keep doing that it doesn't make any sense. >> host: you also suppress the emergence of leadership who could run for statewide office like senator governor. >> guest: gerrymandering is toxic to the american democracy. >> host: unfortunately it has become a basic fixture of republican party politics. if you look at ohio, north carolina or virginia, pennsylvania, and they struck down the gerrymandering there. and a real competitive election for congress taking place in 2018. >> guest: but you saw how the legislature tried to fight back, about trying to impeach justices in pennsylvania. i think one of the key case is wisconsin that was an extreme partisan gerrymandering case
where we have the supreme court punts on it. what happened there is after the 2010 election, republicans have a group of republicans got together in a hotel room with powerful mapping software and with the kind of data about who lived where so that they understood what their possible proclivities were in terms of ideology. and it took them about four months. they can't retry and the, retrying demands. the point was to get rid of as many competitive districts as they could and to ensure that regardless of how many votes republicans received, they would always get the majority of both, majority of seats in the state legislature. think about that at the democratic sensible, how we understand democracy. regardless of how many, we will always have the most.
wow. well, the first time -- they also say that many republicans, they had to sign a nondisclosure agreement, just to look at their districts as they were going on. no democrats were allowed in the process. this is similarly partisan drawing up a map. the result in the 2012 election was that democrats received 52% of the vote and 39% of the seats in the state legislature. >> host: the majority and the proceeds. >> guest: exactly. subsequent elections got worse. 2014 and 2016. >> host: but the supreme court took it up and said there's nothing we can do about it. even though the pennsylvania supreme court advanced a very coherent thesis on how to analyze it.
>> guest: guess in the back there was a very coherent pieces on how do you determine extreme partisan gerrymandering as opposed to regular gerrymandering. that dealt with race and vote. it had really been worked out. it had run the models against a series of districts and each case, that is what they found when you have this extreme gerrymandering. >> host: the courts authorized because nobody thought of the burden of the corporate tax clause that gerrymandering was being discredited or struck down. so, congress has got to do it. congress has got to ask. i am on legislation to compel the use of independent nonpartisan redistricting in every state based on principles of representation but were obviously a long way off from getting there. i'm glad that you raise that. i wanted to ask you something i
felt was left out of the book and this is mild criticism. maybe more criticism myself that i have written this book at myself. there are large populations of american citizens who are structurally excluded from participation in our politics. it is not that they are occasionally or haphazardly disenfranchised like some of the people. but they are structurally excluded. right here we set in washington d.c. where there are more than 600,000 taxpaying draftable american citizens who have no voting representation in congress. millions of people in puerto rico, america, samoa, guam, virgin islands, virgin islands by sir brett bair delegates are nonresident commissioners, but they don't have the right to vote. there are still millions as you point out former prisoners who got out of prison. every other rights restored except the right to vote which shows it's not about rehabilitation. it's about voter suppression.
so what are we going to do about that? we need a constitutional amendment guaranteeing everybody to write to go to be represented at every level of government. >> if you are an american citizen, you have the right to vote. this is an horrific example of what happens in puerto rico. first firm to hit and then maria just followed up and devastated the island. but because there was sent the kind of political representation geared d.c., in d.c. that could weigh heavy on this administration for congress to do something, they would be laughed just exposed first to the horrors of the hurricane and then to the horrors of government negligence.
>> the non-resident commission who's a republican friend of mine, jennifer gonzalez had introduced shortly after the hurricane a statehood measure are saying we need statehood so we are treated equally by citizens and not overlooked and forgotten. of course people in d.c. have been fighting for the same thing. the question is, you know, is there the political will in the country to support the mission of news dates. or is that a fallback position do we need a constitutional amendment to guarantee everybody's right to vote for the congress of the festive figure out a way to deal with it. >> guest: .i. don't know. part of it i know that there is on the island itself, for instance, a massive debate about whether the coming of fate gives in what authority happened and what they think whether that is even viable for reporter reiko.
that is something they need to figure out. i believe it's been resolved they are. both of the republicans and democrats i think are fighting for it. i know some people still hold the independent's position, but you know, at this point i don't think puerto rico is leaving the united states and i think people want political equality and equal treatment of citizens. >> guest: i think it actually gets to the core of what this book is about. the quality and equal treatment as citizens. what we are saying systematically over and over if that is not happening. you take another issue in the book that really also explains that disparity. the simple issue of poll closures in minority neighborhoods so that after
shelby county voting rights act, those jurisdictions that have been under preclearance, by the time we got to the 2016 election, they were 868 fewer polls. and what that means is that you're getting longer and longer lines. you're also getting polling places that are further and further away from african-american and latino neighborhoods. and i mean, the research is clear that for every 10th of a mile at a polling station is moved from a black neighborhood, the black voter turnout rate was down by .5%. and so, one of the things that tried to happen, but civil society stepped in as george of for instance for reasons of fiscal responsibility they decided to consolidate some of the polling stations.
the one that was closest now to the black neighborhood because this is a presidential desegregation as per the one closest to the black neighborhood with 17 miles away. begin to think about what that looks like. it was only the intervention of civil society again that stopped that from becoming a reality. but what 868 poll closures mean, you link that up with early voting. early voting is designed to deal with the fact we have election day on a tuesday. but many folks have to go to work. >> host: a victory voting rights versus arguing it to expand possibility for voting rather than contract. >> guest: exactly. what we have seen since shelby county is a contraction of early voting. we've seen a very systematic contraction. in north carolina, for instance,
when the legislature came to power, they immediately requested voting data by race so that they could figure out not only what kind of ideas african-americans had and didn't have, but on what they said they vote or early voting. when did they vote, how did they though, where did it go? north carolina then using that data cut its early voting hours particularly the sunday before election day, what we call souls to the polls where they would then take the congregation to go vote right after church. there was a heavy date according to the data. what they also did was to reduce early polling stations. in mecklenburg county they went from 22 stations to four. i liken that to it's christmas eve and you're running it to the store.
there are extensively 22 tax writers. except for oreo thin. what does that line look like? >> host: they're checking i.d. >> guest: exactly. i'm going to abduct the next time i do that analogy. you see that line and it's just daunting. one of the things they did in ohio it looks clean and clear is that they said, you know, every county is going to get one early voting polling station. so that looks fair and equitable. except pick a wake county about 60,000 people. hamilton county has about 800,000 people. there is such a fundamental difference between 60,800,000. so the line for hamilton county for cincinnati a stretch when order of a mile. what those long lines are designed to do is to dissuade voters. to just go i can't, i can't do
this. the line in miami with seven hours. the line in maricopa county are phoenixes, five hours. it is designed to demoralize. >> host: let's go back to alabama. i don't want you to leave people with a demoralizing message because i mean, the courts are obviously not the best friend i've voting rights anymore. it are kavanaugh goes on the court, that is more in the robert rehnquist lineage of upholding restrictions on voting rights. what should people do? >> guest: one of the things i love about the alabama story because as i said they have applied every method of voter suppression. civil society like what the moral turpitude dan, civil society stepped in and started doing the heavy lifting of democracy. so, they started with the moral turpitude of felon disenfranchisement peace. they started out a massive
publicity campaign both on radio and social media. then they set up restoration clinics where people could come in. they could have their records looked at to determine whether they've been convicted of a crime and then they had people there who could get them registered. you've got to mobilize civil society. you can't rely exclusively on the government. in some places you can at all. >> civil society and they understood the culture of the place is that this was in a text message kind of thing. this is where you have to talk to folks where they were in figure what they wanted, but they needed, what you want for your life? when they're having a conversation, it is coming up access to quality health care, really good education for my kids. to be able to make a living wage. so it's criminal justice reform. they're talking about key basic issues and the people they're talking to come alabamians talking about whether they've
been when you've got a judge roy moore. what does that mean? daily existence. but assuming they have a doug jones for daily existence. the montgomery bus boycott where they set up a private car system because alabama had closed 66 polling stations. so, they set up a private car system to get people to and from the polls so that the distance wasn't there. but we saw happening on election night was at first it looked accounting the northern counties of looks like roy moore was in. and then there is this moment. i remember seeing this suite for martin luther king's daughter and she went soma, lord, selma. because when the count came in from selma, alabama, boom that put out more in the lead. massive turnout. in the black vote counting is the turnout was five percentage points higher. posts would activate the
population generally. not just election day. >> guest: that is one of the key elements that this kind of civic engagement because it's not just voting, but it is holding the people you've elected as your representatives, holding them accountable. >> host: at work in them to make change. vote not just that your ballot that your entire life. vote all the time. vote everyday. >> guest: this is what we feed. the call is coming in to senators of the town hall. >> host: participations in hearing them washing. >> guest: exactly. that kind of civic engagement is how we begin to get this democracy back on track and to be the kind of vibrant inclusive. >> host: toqueville for democracy is either always constrict and in shrinking or
expanding and growing. which way are we going? >> guest: and so right now in my conclusion we've got the construction. we really have the construction. like in indiana where mike pence when he was governor signed a law that said counties that have over 325,000 residents only have one early voting site. and they have to get unanimous approval by their board of elections, which is a bipartisan board. in marion county were indianapolis is. >> host: no early voting? it was vetoed. >> guest: about one site is fair. early voting has gone down. where is the suburbs, the counties with less than 325,000 can house more. so i talk about that, but i also talk about states where they're asking that question. how do we get more of our
citizens to vote? that is oregon. that is minnesota. that is massachusetts. i mean, they are in their automatic voter registration. automatic voter registration. we've talked about the difficulties of registering to vote. you're getting your drivers license, automatically registered to vote. you have to say i do not want to be registered. we can go one better. ..