During Sunday’s commemorative Selma voting rights march here in Franklin, our biggest challenge was making it back up town hill. Fifty years ago it took real courage to cross that bridge and face mounted state troopers with hate in their eyes, armed with batons, tear gas and the legal right to bash in skulls. Real blood was spilled that day 50 years ago.
Those sacrifices in Selma lead directly to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which guaranteed equal access to the voting booth for all citizens. When that law was gutted in 2013 by a conservative Supreme Court, many states of the old Confederacy immediately enacted new laws to limit voting rights. Those new laws would have been prohibited by Voting Rights Act. Once again North Carolina lead the way back to the 1950s by quickly passing the worst voter suppression law in the country.
The rationale for these voter suppression laws is always the same. Laws must be enacted to stop rampant voter fraud and to protect the sanctity of the vote. They argue that you need proper ID to get a driver license or to buy a pizza, so why not to vote? Apparently these lawmakers forgot that you don't have a Constitutional protected right to buy a pizza, but you do to vote.