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Civil Rights and Race Relations in America and Their Impact on the Lives of African Americans
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5/17/11Related Case or Issue:
Voters and Community Groups Intervening in Suit to Ensure that All New Yorkers Are Equally Represented in State and Local Legislatures
Albany, NY – Today, top civil rights organizations filed a motion in New York Supreme Court asking to intervene to help defend New York’s new law allocating people in prison to their home communities for redistricting and reapportionment.
Today marks the fifty-seventh anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v.
Thousands of New York prisoners are being set free - from being counted in upstate Republicans' state Senate districts.
Under the federal Voting Rights Act, the Department of Justice has just approved counting inmates in their hometowns - not where they're locked up - for the purposes of political redistricting.
The decision is a blow to lawmakers who have been counting on the captive audience to bolster their population counts - even while those behind bars can't cast a vote.
A bill that would have forced the state to count prisoners in the cities or towns they lived in before they were incarcerated was not called for a vote by the Judiciary Committee, but some lawmakers, like Sen. Eric Coleman, believe there’s a chance it could be resurrected.
Coleman, co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said the committee has spent the session grappling with substantial issues like the death penalty and transgender identification. It was also questionable whether the measure had enough support to clear the committee, he said.
Louisiana is being sued for alleged non-compliance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Inc. (LDF), Project Vote and several private persons.
The lawsuit, filed on April 19, alleges Louisiana has failed to give ample opportunity for low-income and minority voters to register by failing to follow the required procedures outlined in the NVRA.