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tv   Congressional Redistricting and Race  CSPAN  August 18, 2017 11:01am-11:26am EDT

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police and media. thank you to all the students who participated in the 2017 student cam video documentary competition. to watch any of the videos go to and 2018 starts in september with the theme the constitution and you. we are asking students to choose any provision of the constitution and creativity illustrating why the provision is important. >> next, remarks made by former attorney general eric holder on voting rights at the 2016 annual convention of the naacp in baltimore, maryland last month. the history of voting rights in the us and on issues of congressional redistricting and race. his speech is 20 minutes. [applause] >> thank you. thank you.
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good afternoon. i want to thank you for that very kind introduction. a lot of research went into that. you can go to the parishes we came from and that is good, that is real good. it is an honor for me to speak to an organization we need now more than ever and a point of personal privilege, we have with us someone whose name was mentioned before, the head of our civil rights division, mister gupta. [applause], head of the leadership conference, chiefly when i was attorney general, the prison continues into lead in the civil rights arena. today i would like to discuss with you at that we all owe and
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an issue that threatens the integrity of this great nation and puts in peril the future welfare of our country. 50 years after the passage of the most significant civil rights legislation in our nation's history the voting rights act in 1965, the most basic of american rights, the right to vote is under siege. president johnson said when he signed the voting rights act, the right to vote is that with -- all others are meaningless. at a time we should be expanding opportunity to cast a ballot there is a movement that attempts to make more difficult, to suppress the vote aided and abetted by a factually inaccurate and disconnected supreme court decision, too many are trying to make a too hard, too difficult, their fellow citizens, to exercise their right to be heard at the ballot box.
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let me start with the basic statements, every person attempting to vote should so -- show that he or she is who they claim to be. too many times this has been the case and in our past, our fellow citizens identify themselves in incredible ways. there has always been a requirement to identify yourself before you can cast the ballot but recently some states became overly prescriptive and unfairly restrictive in enumerating sufficient proof. only in the recent past in certain states and legislatures and governors this more restrictive prescribed approach has been put together. the question is why? the usual justification is to ensure the integrity of the electoral system by restricting voter fraud. given the nature of the fraud to
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be eliminated the new restrictions are designed to prevent in person false identification voting. although there is no statistical proof that this is an issue about which the nation should be concerned, the vote fraud mantra is said so often almost robotically, some people have unthinkingly begun to believe the issue is real. the claims of a term used by our president, rigged elections based on fraud, again without any proof save the bluster of the then candidate, this mistaken belief in voter fraud becomes almost hardwired. undoubtedly claims the 3 to 5 million people voted illegally in the last election, it has been laid to further voter suppression efforts. studies have shown the actual instinctive in-person voter fraud is extremely rare, penalties associated with voter fraud, usually faculties
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outweigh the impact, a group of people might affect. the true impact would require substantial numbers of people holding themselves out as voters which would increase exponentially the exposure of the scheme. no such widespread scheme has ever been detected. do you think 3 million people voted illegally this would have gone undetected? the brennan center stated, quote, it is more likely an individual be struck by lightning than he will impersonate another voter at the polls. one expert found 31 cases, more than 1 billion ballots cast in the united states in 2000 to 2014. people of good faith, rounded in the facts, not alternate facts which need to be called what they are, lies.
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[applause] >> people of good faith really have to ask where is the problem? people tied to real facts have to conclude there simply isn't a consequential one and the restrictive voting laws combat a next to nonexistent problem would be a serious collateral impact, not needed. instead of ensuring the integrity of the voting process they do the opposite by keeping certain groups of people away from the polls, to employ the language of our president, this is how elections are officially rigged, by state governments controlled by his party. the creation of this federal commission, and this administration is a frightening attempt to suppress the votes of certain americans. make no mistake, this commission led by a factor challenged sell it who comes up with bogus
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reagan's -- reasons for further research is to be placed on the right to vote. refusing to turn the data to the commission are right in that determination. this commission is up to no good. [applause] >> no fact-based voter impersonation program, what could be the basis of the photo identification push. sadly the republican party has decided to lash itself to short-term political expediency than put itself on the wrong side of history. history will be harsh in its assessment of these efforts. let's look at some facts. in 2007 an article that appears in the houston chronicle quoted the political director of the texas republican party. he said, quote, among republicans it is an article of religious faith that voter fraud is causing us to lose elections. he doesn't agree with that. requiring photo id cause enough of a drop off a legitimate
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democratic voting at 3% to the republican vote. pennsylvania, the presidential election in 2012, republicans house majority leader listed policy, in the state. voter id, will win the state of pennsylvania, done. federal court in washington dc throwing out a texas republican supported voter identification law stating it would impose strict unforgiving burdens on the poor. and under that texas law a state university id was found not to be adequate proof but state issued concealed weapons permit was. in wisconsin in 2015, chief of staff to a meeting republican state senator resigned after attending a party caucus in which he said some legislators were literally giddy over the
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effective state voter id laws on minority and college students. as you know last year, official state government emails republican lawmakers targeted in their new voting laws and i quote again african-americans, almost surgical precision. let me be frank. voter fraud has not become an issue in north carolina as in other places until people of color started to now it's in record numbers and become an art in of greater urgency with emergency candidacy and the presidency of barack obama. let us be honest, faced with demographic changes they perceive against them settled with governing velocity with an evolving nation some republicans decided if you can't beat them, change the rules. make it more difficult for those
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individuals was likely to support republican candidates to vote, this is done with the knowledge, for certain groups, elections can be affected. more restrictive voter id laws decrease the votes of young people, minorities and the poor in kansas and tennessee in 2012. a recent study conducted at the university of california san diego, for a variety of factors including these new laws disproportionately affected democratic voters. the study found democratic turnout dropped by 7% restricting photo id laws place which and there was an increase for people in color. if one were to define, vote for or a rigged election, that is
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where it is, tensions and laws should not be focused on phantom illegal voters. in the 2008 presidential election, with 7 million adult citizens, and not eligible to pass a ballot, that is one of the places we should focus our efforts. in 2011, and eligible citizens. the logic of the argument is still sound, the ability to vote is a right. it is not a privilege. under our current system. [applause] >> under our current system many voters must follow needlessly complex and cumbersome voter registration was and before and after every election season state and local officials manually process new
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applications most of them handwritten leaving the system with areas that are creating chaos at the polls. the pew center estimates one in eight voter registrations in the united states are invalid or significantly and acted. this is not as the result of people trying to gain the system but indications the system itself is inadequate. the system is at fault. it is a straightforward fix for these problems, the political will to bring our election systems into the 21st-century government can and should ultimately register citizens to vote by compiling listing databases, a list of all eligible presidents in each jurisdiction. several states have taken steps in that direction, four
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implemented the registration procedure, and an increase in registry, california, vermont, west virginia passed similar laws and other states are leaning in that direction. it is estimated that if implemented at dmv and other key government agencies these needed reforms, 50 million eligible voters save money and increase accuracy in the records necessary to the system. certain states may even make registration more difficult, are shameful. north carolina, a procedure that automatically registered all high school students within one year of their right to their first vote was done away with. everyone voted -- why would you make it more difficult for high school students to register to participate in the electoral process? are you trying to prevent voter fraud from occurring? must also address the fact that
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one in 9 americans lose every year, there voter registration does not move with them. many would-be voters don't realize this until after they missed a deadline for registering which can file a full month or more before election day. election officials should work together to establish a program of permanent, portable registration so voters move can vote at their new polling place on election day. until that happens we should implement failsafe procedures to correct outdated voter rolls by allowing every voter to cast a regular non-provisional ballot on election day. several states took this step and it has been shown to increase turnout by 3% to 5 percentage points. these will not only improve the integrity of our elections but also save precious taxpayer dollars. despite these benefits there will always be those who say easing registration hurdles will only lead to voter fraud. let me be clear, voter fraud is
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the extent to which it exists is not acceptable, should not be tolerated but i learned early in my career the prosecutor in the justice department public integrity section, i investigated and prosecuted voting fraud cases with voter registration and voting easier was simply not by themselves making the elections more susceptible to fraud. those on all sides of this so-called debate have acknowledged in person voting fraud is incredibly uncommon. we have to be honest and recognize the ability to ensure the strength and integrity of our election system would advance the reforms necessary to achieve this depends whether the american people are informed, engaged and willing to demand fact-based solutions and regulations that make voting
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more accessible. politicians may not alter the gerrymandered systems under which they were elected even though 80% of republicans oppose the citizens united decision and two thirds of voters support strengthening voter protections and restoring the voting rights act. only we the people can bring meaningful change and alter current discriminatory trends. so speak out, don't be afraid, don't worry about being the subject of a tweet. [applause] >> raise awareness about what is at stake. :the political party most responsible to resist the temptation to suppress certain votes in the hope of obtaining electoral success and work to achieve success by appealing to more voters. what do they fear? the people they claim they want to represent? urge policymakers to reevaluate our election system and reform
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them in ways that encourage, not limit participation. insist they make it easier to register and easier to vote and ask them, why is voting side primarily to a single tuesday in november? work this. we need to work to expand voting days and hours so many of our fellow citizens choose between casting a ballot and keeping their jobs. increase and not decrease as was disastrously done in arizona recently the number of polling places where our fellow citizens can truly participate in our democracy. insist the redistricting after the 20/20 census was done in a fair democracy supporting way. remember the ability of the federal government to monitor election day complaints has been as a result of that disastrous supreme court decision in shelton county, dangerously reduced. today we cannot and must not
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take the right to vote for granted nor can we shirk the responsibility that falls on our shoulders would we owe a debt to those who sacrificed so much to ensure all americans have access to the ballot and all of our actions must honor that sacrifice. throughout his presidency lyndon johnson made the promise of the 65 voting rights act real and pointed out america was the first nation in the history of the world to write wrong and do justice. over the last two centuries the fulfillment of this promise is taken many forms, acts of protests, declarations of war and peace to and another great president said government of, by and for the people shall not perish from the earth. today there are competing visions where the government should move forward. that is what the democratic process is all about, making
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space for thoughtful debate, creating opportunities for citizens to voice their opinions and ultimately letting people chart their owncourse. our nation has worked and fought to help people around the world to establish such a process. here at home honoring our democracy demands we remove any and all barriers to voting, a goal all-american citizens and all background must share. despite decades of struggle sacrifice and achievements, we must remain ever vigilant in safeguarding the most basic and important rights. too many recent actions are shameful and have potential to reduce the progress that defines us and made this nation successful as an example for all the world. that which has been and is being attempted is unacceptable and
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un-american. we must be true to the arc of america's history which compels us to be more inclusive with regard to the franchise and never forget the purpose two centuries ago inspired our nation's founding and now must guide us forward. this is a nation born of revolution, dedicated to the right of the people to choose their governments and optimism and without delay, let us rise to the challenges and fallacies of our time. letter signal to the world today that in america in pursuit of a more perfect union lives on. generations before us did not fail in that quest. those three civil rights workers in mississippi gave their lives trying to help people to get the right to vote. in light of that kind of sacrifice we must not fail in our time is now is not the time to retreat in the face of a partisan assault on the most
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basic of american rights. retreat in the face of injustice is not what the naacp does. the battle to protect the voting rights of all americans is a defining one, not only a legal issue but moral imperative. if we are to be the nation we claim to be we must challenge in every way possible those who would undermine our democracy and lost faith, the covenant between government and the people. the right to vote is not only the cornerstone of our system of government but the lifeblood of our democracy. i am confident they focus and informed citizenry with leaders like those in this room today, this is a struggle for rights, it will be won. if we are to remain true to those who sacrificed and died to secure the rights to vote we must not fail, generation before us, it is our time to insist that our nation lives up to its founding precepts.
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it will not be easy. it will be long, there will be setbacks. if we honor the sacrifice of those who came before us we must pledge to use our best efforts to ensure this most essential of american rights, the right to vote, is protected for future generations. thank you very much. [applause] >> tonight on c-span2 booktv and primetime books, a presidential history starting with former advisor to president clinton sidney blumenthal talking about the second volume of his biography of abraham lincoln wrestling with his angel. then political science professor tony smith on why wilson
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matters. and reels and discusses his book the working class republican on president reagan and pulitzer prize-winning author joseph lee liefelt looks at the life of franklin roosevelt and his final battle starting at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> this year's festival is so exciting and i must tell you it is one of my favorites because i'm a big nonfiction fan. the typesof authors we are going to have, katie vance's book is on every reading list you can imagine in every book club. it is an exciting time. i am thrilled. >> join booktv for the national book festival live in washington dc saturday, september 2nd on c-span2. >> now to a mock trial based on a scenario of william
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shakespeare's play neck best. a panel of federal appellate court judges and supreme court justice including stephen breyer heard oral arguments in the case of the weird sisters, the kingdom of scotland. at issue, whether or not the sisters were using witchcraft to aid and abet macbeth in the murder of king duncan of scotland. this was another installment of the mock trial series presented by the shakespeare theatre company of washington dc. [applause] >> thank you for joining us in this event which is our 26 mock trial. this is one of the events we do that is a labor of love and it is because of the people you will meet in a moment that


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