African-Americans are disproportionately affected by voter suppression, and continue to see their ability to shift the outcome of elections put in peril. Florida is among the handful of states that frequently engages in voter suppression and, in fact, invalidate more absentee ballots from black voters.
New: Alabama blocked a man from voting because he owed $4. Yes, $4. https://t.co/5r6gcMZUOR
— Sam Levine (@srl) February 27, 2020
“I read about the challenges during the 60s, 50s, that black people had to overcome just to vote,” Tucker said. “It’s the same thing going on in 2020.”
Tucker, who previously served two years in prison, spent years trying to redeem his life by working a hard and honest life. But as is the case with so many former prisoners, especially ones of color, the system makes it next to impossible for them to vote.
Via The Guardian:
Under Alabama law, people with felonies only have to pay off the money originally assessed as part of their criminal conviction to regain their voting rights. By 2018, Tucker had paid back most of what he owed. But, unbeknown to him, the state had added an additional debt of $131.10, a fee that was irrelevant to whether he could vote because it was not part of his original conviction. And the $5,535.47 debt was from a misdemeanor offense, Bowie saw, which does not cause someone to lose their voting rights in Alabama. All that Tucker actually owed in order to vote was $4.
“What is voter suppression if not officials wrongly telling you that you can’t vote?” said Blair Bowie, an attorney at Campaign Legal Center, a Washington DC voting rights group “That’s been a classic way of disenfranchising people, particularly in Alabama.”
Worst yet, after Tucker had paid the $135.10, he drove two hours to Montgomery, the state capitol, with a friend to hand-deliver the receipt to a staffer at the board of pardons and paroles. However, he never back and missed voting in the 2018 midterm elections.
Considering the high stakes of the 2020 Predntinal Leetcion, we may want to get European democracies to monitor our election.