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 billmoyers.com.
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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