PBS set to ask if voting rights are 'under assault'

Published: Wednesday August 30, 2006

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Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is set to air a segment posing the possibility that the voting rights of many Americans are under attack, RAW STORY has learned.

A nation-wide push for laws to target voter fraud is likely to disqualify many who are legally eligible to vote, the PBS program NOW will claim in a segment tomorrow night titled, "Your right to vote -- is it under assault?"

A Florida law that could have leveled enormous fines against non-partisan groups organizing voter registration drives, and a Georgia law requiring photo ID at the polls will be put under scrutiny by the program. These laws, NOW will explain, will often prevent legally eligible and registered voters from casting ballots in the upcoming elections--yet many have been approved by the Department of Justice.

Minorities, the poor, the elderly and disabled are expected to be hit especially hard.

"This is a concerted effort to make sure that certain people don't have the opportunity to vote, that they don't have the opportunity to participate in their own democracy," Georgia state representative Alisha Thomas Morgan will be seen telling the program.

NOW is also preparing to use the Internet to support the story. Tomorrow morning, features on the program's website will include a state-by-state overview of election rights, an exploration of the voting rights act, and a list of "the 11 worst places in America to vote."

The segment will run tomorrow, September 1, at 8:30 p.m.