Unfair tactics and confusing rules still make it tough for many minorities to cast election ballots, and the barriers are so common that the federal safeguards for voters must be renewed, a detailed new report from a civil rights group said.
"Protecting Minority Voters: The Voting Rights Act, 1982-2005" pulls together research and testimony from voters around the country to urge lawmakers to renew the parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that will expire in August 2007.
"The past and the present look a whole lot alike in the prevalence of racial discrimination in voting," said Barbara Arnwine, director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which spearheaded the project. "It was shocking to . . . not only see the continuing reality of racial discrimination in voting but to see how pervasive these problems are nationwide."