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Voting Rights On Trial, Again

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A voting rights showdown in North Carolina. We’ll look at the local politics and the national implications.

Demonstrators march through the streets of Winston-Salem, N.C., Monday, July 13, 2015 after the beginning of a federal voting rights trial challenging a 2013 state law. Election law experts say the case could determine how far Southern states can change voting rules after the nation's highest court struck down a portion of the federal Voting Rights Act just weeks before the North Carolina law was passed. (AP)
Demonstrators march through the streets of Winston-Salem, N.C., Monday, July 13, 2015 after the beginning of a federal voting rights trial challenging a 2013 state law. Election law experts say the case could determine how far Southern states can change voting rules after the nation's highest court struck down a portion of the federal Voting Rights Act just weeks before the North Carolina law was passed. (AP)

Two years ago, the Supreme Court cut out a core provision of the Voting Rights Act, requiring federal approval of voting law changes in states with histories of discrimination. North Carolina acted almost immediately to enact new restrictions on voting. Supporters said it was to ensure an honest vote. Critics charged it was a racial, partisan move. To discourage black and Latino turnout. They sued. Right now, the case is in court. With the whole country watching as 2016 approaches. This hour On Point: the voting rights showdown in North Carolina.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Paul Garber, political reporter for NPR affiliate WFDD in Winston-Salem. (@pbgonwfdd)

Kareem Crayton, election law scholar and consultant. Former professor of law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law. (@kareemcrayton)

J. Christian Adams, president and general counsel of the Public Interest Legal Foundation. Legal editor at PJ Media. Author of "Injustice; Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department." (@electionlawctr)

Nate Persily, professor at the Stanford University Law School. Senior research director of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration. (@persily)

From Tom’s Reading List

WFDD: 'Selma' March Draws Thousands To Winston-Salem — "Crowds of people braved the hot summer sun in Winston-Salem  to protest sweeping changes to the state’s voting laws that includes a reduction in early hours. The march coincided with the start of a federal lawsuit that is getting national attention."

Independent Weekly: Opening arguments launch historic voting rights trial in North Carolina — "The elimination of out-of-precinct provisional voting is only one feature of the 2013 omnibus election reform law, also known as the 'monster' voting law, that the North Carolina NAACP and other plaintiffs, including the U.S. Justice Department, are seeking to overturn. Other disputed provisions include the elimination of same-day registration and the curtailment of early voting from 17 to 10 days."

Presidential Commission on Election Administration: The American Voting Experience -- Long wait times at select polling places result from a combination of mismanagement, limited or misallocated resources, and long ballots. Problems faced by military voters and their dependents in receiving and transmitting ballots, and then having them counted, still remain. Accommodations for voters with disabilities or with limited English proficiency vary widely, dependent on the attention they receive from local officials and compliance with statutory protections. Bloated and inaccurate voter registration lists — the source of many downstream election administration problems — arise in the absence of a national list of voters."

Flag Removal Stirs Protest In South Carolina

Jamie Self, politics, government and K-12 education reporter at at The State in Columbia, SC. (@jamiemself)

The State: KKK, other groups wave flag, raise voices at State House demonstration -- "Ku Klux Klan and Confederate flag demonstrators left the State house grounds Saturday escorted by a human chain of law enforcement officers them from dozens of counter-protests running beside and shouting."

This program aired on July 20, 2015.

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