Citizens vote on Election Day at Fire Station #71 in Alhambra, Los Angeles County, on November 6, 2012 in California.

In the past six years, 22 states have passed new voting restrictions, including requiring identification at the polls and banning felons from voting. Journalist Ari Berman says voters are about to head to the ballot box with fewer rights than when Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act over 50 years ago. The author of “Give Us the Ballot” talks with Forum about the history of voting rights in America and why the current wave of voting restrictions predominately affects youth, poor people and minorities.

Related Links:

As States Impose New Voting Restrictions, Concerns Mount About Access to the Polls 26 September,2016Mina Kim

Ari Berman, senior contributing writer, The Nation; author, "Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America"

  • Terry

    Are Hillary’s crooked minions going to prevent poor, disenfranchised Trump supporters from voting by questioning their right to vote?
    Are the corrupt TPP-supporting Democrats going to try to prevent Bernie supporters from voting for Jill Stein?
    I wouldn’t be surprised if they do. TPP gives corporations permanent sovereignty over the US government and it is as radical as what happened in 1930s Italy. Forcing TPP through is their hidden motivation.

  • Robert Thomas

    A couple of years ago, I asked a Texas Republican I know,

    “Why doesn’t the Republican Party mobilize conservative youth to help poor people, disabled people, elderly people, people of color, naturalized citizens and so forth get the proper materials required for voter registration in Texas? Wouldn’t that disarm critics who claim that ‘voter fraud’ is just a pretense for denying people their right to the franchise?”

    He looked at me like I was speaking a language he couldn’t understand. I tried again to explain how such an effort would impart sincerity to otherwise baldly discriminatory activity. He explained to me again about the scourge of voter fraud. I gave up.

  • Terry

    The guest’s claim that election rigging is very difficult is the typical lie from republicans and Democrats, whereas investigative journalist Greg Palast proved beyond any doubt that the 2000 and 2004 elections were indeed rigged.

    • chriswinter

      We’re talking about voter fraud here, and the measures ostensibly aimed at preventing it. Voter fraud is people voting multiple times, or people voting who are ineligible to vote. Every study has found it’s extremely rare.

  • Another Mike

    The other right stripped from convicted felons is the right to possess firearms. A friend of mine, an avid bird hunter, lost this right when he was convicted of fooling around with what turned out to be an underaged girl. Should felons routinely have their gun rights restored? Similarly, he will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Should this post-conviction restriction also be removed?

  • Kevin J Ashley

    I recently was talking with a friend from India who said that in his country they are dumbfounded that in the USA, the bastion of democracy, voting is run locally and voting laws differ from state to state. As the world’s largest democracy, India has a very strong and independent elections commission that cannot be interfered with by the government. This commission oversees all elections at all levels and ensures that all voting methods and laws are consistent across the country. Indians feel strongly that without such protection for the voter, no election results can be trusted. I would like to see Forum do a segment on this.

    • Another Mike

      Voting fraud has been rampant over the past couple decades in such north Indian states as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. Party loyalists will “capture” a booth, and prevent opposition votes from being cast there.

      • Kevin J Ashley

        I do not understand the relevance of your comment. It is as if I praised the FBI and you responded that banks are being robbed in NY. If you are asking whether the existence of a national commission results in less voter suppression, that would be something for a Forum program. Your comment sounded dismissive.

        • Another Mike

          How is a national commission better than local control, when India’s national commission utterly fails to prevent local voter fraud?

          • Kevin J Ashley

            It is a long way from some anecdotal deficiency to utter failure. National consistency would mean that all Americans would have the same access to the vote, regardless of whether their local authority has the resources or inclination to make this so.

          • Another Mike

            So, goals and process mean more to you than results?
            Or that American exceptionalism means we can make a national elections commission succeed where India failed?
            Realise the stated goal was that election results be trusted, not allow three states to go rogue each election.

          • Kevin J Ashley

            Three entire states going rogue. (Is that true or did you hear it on Fox “news”?) Boy I’m glad I’m not your kid. One B on the report card and I’d be disowned.

  • Another Mike

    When my grandmother was born in Chicago, birth certificates were optional, and my thrifty great-grandparents saw no need to get one. Social Security accepted her baptismal record — does the state of Texas?

  • Curious

    The left panics when they are prevented form multiple and non-citizen voting.


Mina Kim

Mina Kim is KQED News’ evening anchor and the Friday host of Forum. She reports on a wide range of issues affecting the Bay Area and interviews newsmakers, local leaders and innovators.

Mina started her career in public radio at KQED as an intern with Pacific Time. When the station began expanding its local news coverage in 2010, she became a general assignment reporter, then health reporter for The California Report. Mina’s award-winning stories have included on-the-scene reporting of the 2014 Napa earthquake and a series on gun violence in Oakland.

Her work has been recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association.

Mina grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Oak Park, CA. She lives in Napa.

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