A cornerstone of the civil rights movement, the Voting Rights Act ensures that every American citizen, regardless of race or language, has equal access to the vote. That is until last June, when the U.S. Supreme Court gutted a key part of the act, leading to a full-frontal attack on the voting rights of all Americans.
In "The Stupid Party? Which One?" I looked into the worrisome issue of the Republican Party being hijacked by anti-science Luddites. But what about the House of Representatives? So I spent a day putting together a spreadsheet on the 435 members of the House in the 113th Congress, their backgrounds, and how they have voted on a few important (to me!) science bills.
The historic participation of blacks and other minorities helped elect the first black president of the United States. But while we greatly exercised our right to vote in 2008, many failed to do the same two years later during the 2010 midterms. What we got were a slew of politicians who are more concerned with their own self-aggrandizement than with serving people.
Voter disenfranchisement does not only occur in states with a history of discrimination. The 2012 elections saw the attempt to disenfranchise voters taken to a whole new level -- with voter ID laws, cutting off early voting in certain areas, end to same-day registration and measures making it harder to register large groups of voters.