As a Texas native, I have witnessed many dark days in the fight to ensure voting rights for all people. The 2013 Supreme Court decision, Shelby County v. Holder, overturned portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in historically discriminatory states and allowed those states to implement changes to election laws without any checks and balances. Four years later, President Trump and his administration have decided to create a commission to investigate the unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.
The minute the Supreme Court handed down its decision, states that previously needed preclearance—like Texas—saw their controversial voter ID laws go into effect with no federal oversight. States like Texas insisted on the necessity of voter ID laws to “protect the integrity of elections,” passing laws that disproportionately affect African-Americans, Latinos and poor people. It is well documented that voter fraud is not a major issue in elections, yet state legislatures have used this farce to justify heavy-handed and restrictive laws. It is clear what their intent is, and it is shameful that our democracy has allowed the right to vote to be reduced to a mere pawn. (The Hill)