Because elections are locally administered in the United States, voter suppression varies among jurisdictions. At the founding of the country, most states limited the right to vote to property-owning white males. Over time, the right to vote was formally granted to racial minorities, women, and youth. However, throughout the latter 19th and early 20th centuries, Southern states passed Jim Crow laws to suppress poor and racial minority voters; among other things, such laws included poll taxes, literacy tests, and grandfather clauses. Most of these voter suppression tactics were made illegal after the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Contemporary voter suppression techniques include voter ID laws, voter caging, intimidation of voters at polling places, and felony disenfranchisement. Research has shown that suppression of voters has become an integral part of politics for right wing parties in the USA.  When political entities advocate for voter suppression policies, they typically use positive language such as “voter security” and “anti-voter fraud,” to justify their actions; but there is little evidence to prove that voter fraud is a significant problem in the United States.


Mark Cole (R-Spotsylvania) hates DemocracyThe House of Delegates Privileges and Elections Committee is where redistricting reform bills go to die. It is not selective. It kills bills the Senate already passed, and bills introduced in its own chamber. It kills bills introduced by Republicans and bills introduced by Democrats. At least it doesn’t discriminate.

Del. Mark Cole, a Spotsylvania County Republican, chairs the committee and sits on the subcommittee that routinely sticks a fork in redistricting-related measures. He is the rare Virginian who apparently doesn’t see a need to fix the procedure under which congressional and legislative boundaries are redrawn every 10 years.