"...people living in poverty, minorities and other disfavored groups are being systematically deprived of their voting rights."
This long suspected fact about the waning of democracy in the United States(US) has been confirmed in a report by the United Nations(UN) Special Rapporteur on Poverty and Human Rights, Philip Alston.
In the summary report on poverty and human rights released last Friday, after a 10-day tour of American States and cities, the UN expert outlined how basic rights are being denied in a nation that was once touted as the greatest democracy in the world.
Alston reported: "In the US there is overt disenfranchisement of vast numbers of felons, a rule which predominantly affects Black citizens since they are the ones whose conduct is often specifically targeted for criminalization...there are often requirement that persons who have paid their debt to society still cannot regain their right to vote until they paid off all outstanding fines and fees."
As if that practice was not enough, Alston also found: "Then there is covert disenfranchisement, which includes the dramatic gerrymandering of elected districts to privilege particular groups of voters, the imposition of artificial and unnecessary voter ID requirements, the blatant manipulation of polling station locations, the relocating of DMVs to make it more difficult for certain groups to obtain IDs and the general ramping up of obstacles to voting especially by those without resources."
The UN report concluded: "The net result is that people living in poverty, minorities, and other disfavored groups are being systematically deprived of their voting rights."