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Reveal: Voting rights – and wrongs

In Elections, Featured, Reveal

This presidential election is the first since the Supreme Court struck down voter rights protections that had been in place since the Civil Rights Era. Since that 2013 decision, states across the country have rushed to pass new laws that make it harder to vote. Reveal examines whether these laws are fighting fraud or simply keeping people of color from voting.

First, we meet Alberta Currie, an 82-year-old African American woman. Born at home in North Carolina, she never had a birth certificate but nonetheless never had trouble voting – that is, until a new state law kicked in for this year’s presidential primary.

Next, we head to the Lone Star State, where Texas passed the strictest voter ID law in the country. The governor there says the law is urgently needed to address rampant voter fraud. Reveal’s Laura Starecheski looks into that claim and finds a 100-year legacy of laws that has kept black and Latino voters away from the polls.


With the help of the Houston Chronicle, Starecheski also tells the story of Pasadena, Texas, a suburb where the Hispanic majority remains on the political sidelines. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision, the city’s white mayor has been able to redraw its City Council districts in the white minority’s favor.


And finally, we meet up with Ari Berman of The Nation, who visits a state where the government is actually tearing down barriers to voting: Oregon. Berman investigates a new way of registering voters there that makes it practically automatic.


Reveal is a weekly radio program produced by The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. For more, check out our website and subscribe to our podcast.  Image: Anna Vignet for Reveal.