Monday, August 22, 2016

Judge Rules Missouri's Ferguson School District Violated Voting Rights Act

A Federal judge on Monday ruled that Missouri's St. Louis Ferguson-Florissant School District violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by setting up an Electoral system that limited the Voting power of the African-American community.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Rodney Sippel concluded that the School District “deprives African American voters of an equal opportunity to elect representatives of their choice in violation of § 2 of the Voting Rights Act.”

Sippel didn’t say how the District should remedy the system it has in place. In the interim, the judge forbade the district from conducting elections for the school board “until a new system may be properly implemented.”

The lawsuit, filed in Federal Court in the Eastern District of Missouri, was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a number of black voters and the Missouri chapter of the NAACP.

The plaintiffs alleged that the way the Ferguson-Florissant School District set up Elections for its Board members meshed “with historical and socioeconomic conditions” to keep Minority voters from choosing representatives of their choice.

“The court agreed that the current at-large system dilutes African-Americans’ voting power and undermines their voice in the political process,” Julie Ebenstein, a Staff Attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, said in a statement. “This ruling recognizes that voting in Ferguson-Florissant usually results in the election of candidates preferred by white voters only, and helps push back against decades of systemic racism.”

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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