Alabamians weigh in on voting concerns - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Alabamians weigh in on voting concerns

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

People in Birmingham spoke out about what's working and what's not working at the polls. The National Commission on Voting Rights is holding hearings across the country.  Tuesday night, it came to Birmingham for testimony from people around our state.

"Many other voters there feel like their votes have been castrated," Anne Gibbons, who testified said. "That they no longer have voting rights."

Anne Gibbons voted against a quarry moving into Vincent. She believes election laws were violated.

"The irregularities, the possibility of fraud is so strong that I'm appalled at what has taken place," Gibbons said. "To think that it could take place in the United States in 2014."

The National Commission on Voting Rights is listening to testimonies like Anne's- from around the state. It will then publish two reports - one on election administration issues. The other, on discriminatory voting practices. The reports will be presented to Congress. Topics include problems with absentee ballots, and changing district lines.

"Even during the last election cycle, we saw extremely long lines," Alejandro Reyes, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights said. "You shouldn't have to wait two hours to cast your ballot. We really want to document - what are the problems, where they are happening, and what can we do to make our system better." 

Alabama took center stage last summer when the Supreme Court freed states and municipalities with a history of discrimination from clearing voting changes through the federal government.

"Why is it that we have to have amendments, why do we have to have acts and all kinds of things that further guarantee our right to vote?" Bernard Simelton, President, Alabama State Conference, NAACP said. 'Why can't we abide by what the Constitution says that one man, one vote and have unfettered access to the polls."

Here are links to resources and groups involved in the events: 





 

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