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Charlotte Talks Politics: Are Voting Rights Strong Enough Against A Pandemic?

Erin Keever / WFAE

Monday, July 6, 2020

Recent primaries have highlighted the challenges of voting in a pandemic. They've also pointed out what are seen as gaps in voter protections.

“Meltdown” has been used to describe the June primary in Georgia, where voters waited up to five hours to cast ballots.

Kentucky drastically slashed the number of polling places, resulting in images of voters in Louisville’s lone precinct banging on doors to be let in as polling closed.

Voting experts say the Georgia primary in particular also highlighted the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision that gutted the landmark Voting Rights Act, which set off a wave of voting battles, including North Carolina’s ongoing fight over voter ID.

What has happened to voting rights since that pivotal ruling, and how is it shaping the way America will vote in 2020? 


Guy-Uriel Charles, Duke University School of Law, professor of law (@ProfGuyCharles)

Andra Gillespie, Emory University, associate professor of political science, director of Emory's James Weldon Johnson Institute (@AndraGillespie)

Allison Riggs, Southern Coalition for Southern Justice, interim executive director and chief counsel for voting rights (@AllisonJRiggs)

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A veteran of Charlotte radio news, Chris joined the "Charlotte Talks" staff in January 2016, but has been listening to WFAE since discovering the station as a high schooler.