Lately there has been a lot of talk about voter suppression laws, its impact, and the role that ALEC has played and is playing to get these laws passed. Before I get into the importance of understanding the danger of these laws, we need to understand how this is happening and ALEC’s (American Legislative Exchange Council) role in all of this.
ALEC‘s membership roll is literally a who’s who of major corporations, state, and local officials. It mission is to “ provides a constructive forum for state legislators and private sector leaders to discuss and exchange practical, state-level public policy issues”. ALEC assists in the creation of “model bills” that in some cases are the basis for the ones that are introduced during the state legislative sessions. In other words corporations are working with our elected officials to affect change. On the surface this may not sound like a bad idea, the problem is that ALEC is all about the conservative agenda. This agenda is not necessarily in our best interest.
So how does this relate to voter suppression laws? The guidelines and requirements to register to vote are regulated at the state level. Every state has the ability to define their requirements. Laws are being passed that are changing these requirements. Some of these laws have made the voter registration process more challenging. According to an article in Newsone.com (http://newsone.com/2015371/naacp-voting-rights-2012/) these laws could prevent up to five million voters from heading to the voting booth.
According to the NAACP, these restrictions include:
Ernest R. Heyward is the Founder and President of the Marketplace for Social Awareness and Social Responsibility Inc.