Segments in this Video

Voter Restriction Laws (00:52)


Nearly half the states passed laws making it harder to vote. View footage of Paul Weyrich endorsing voter suppression in 1980.

Shelby County v. Holder (00:49)

The Supreme Court decision enabled state legislatures to impose voter ID laws and gerrymander congressional districts—but there is little evidence of people cheating in elections.

Guest Introduction (00:38)

Moyers welcomes NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund President Sherrilyn Iffill and The Nation Magazine contributor Ari Berman.

Texas Voter ID Law (00:33)

More than 600,000 registered voters won't be able to vote in November 2014 because they lack identification.

Voter Discrimination (01:01)

The Supreme Court upheld Texas' voter ID law so that the election wouldn't be disturbed—but the law disenfranchises half a million minority voters, violating their constitutional rights.

Swing State Voter Restrictions (01:23)

States with close senate races passed legislation making it harder to vote, including North Carolina, Kansas, and Georgia.

Coalition of the Ascendant (01:44)

Republicans claim voter restriction is necessary to prevent fraud. Only 31 cases were proven in 14 years; since Obama's election conservatives feel threatened by minority votes.

Institutionalized Racism (01:14)

A Texas judge found the voter ID law discriminates against African-American and Latino voters. Iffill explains that voter fraud claims began during the 2006-2007 immigration debate.

Shelby Decision (01:08)

The Supreme Court eliminated the Voting Rights Act section requiring states to approve legislation with the Federal government. Iffill describes challenging the Texas voter ID law.

"War" on Voters (01:14)

Since the Shelby Decision, southern states have been passing voter restriction laws and challenging the Voting Rights Act constitutionality.

Early Voting Debate (00:57)

Republicans say that early voting is too expensive and too easy--echoing arguments for the poll tax and literacy tests.

Regulatory Hoops (02:07)

Some argue that voter registration defense patronizes poor minorities. Iffill explains that photo ID requirements are increasingly restrictive; many citizens can't afford one.

Revoking Civil Rights and Democracy (02:00)

Iffill and Berman discuss the history of states restricting voting rights. Until recently, the bipartisan Congressional consensus supported the Voting Rights Act.

Challenging a Universal Civil Right (02:06)

Iffill explains that the Voting Rights Act has bipartisan support; only a segment of the Republican Party uses voter restrictions as a political strategy.

American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) (00:54)

Berman explains how conservative lobbyists drafted model voter ID legislation and instructed states on how to make it constitutional.

Controlling the Political Process (00:42)

Berman discusses the link between conservative politicians and corporate lobbyists in terms of voter restriction.

Citizens United and Voter Restrictions (02:22)

Iffill discusses how the Supreme Court no longer sees voting as a democratic equalizer, but rather as a minor political participation area.

Democracy vs. Money (01:49)

Voter suppression legislation threatens the power of voters to trump Citizens United. Moyers continues the conversation at

Credits: Moyers & Company: The Fight—and the Right—to Vote (01:35)

Credits: Moyers & Company: The Fight—and the Right—to Vote

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Moyers & Company: The Fight—and the Right—to Vote

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In this edition of Moyers & Company, Bill speaks with Sherrilyn Iffill of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Ari Berman, contributing writer for The Nation magazine, about Texas' harsh voter ID law and the troubling issue of voter suppression. Broadcast date: October 24, 2014.

Length: 27 minutes

Item#: BVL66042

ISBN: 978-1-60057-697-3

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.