My thoughts on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act caught the attention of NY Times reporter, Winnie Hu.
Ms. Hu cites the Bronx as a case study regarding the continued efficacy of Section 5. Tell me your thoughts.
Even some of those who support the Voting Rights Act suggested that it was no longer needed in New York City. Michael Benjamin, a former state assemblyman in the Bronx, said that the law had helped scores of minorities get elected to office in the borough, and that it should now fall to those local officials, not the federal government, to enforce voting rights.
"When you break your leg, they put it in a cast, and when your leg heals, they take it off," Mr. Benjamin said. "I’m saying it’s worked, take the cast off."
But Norman Siegel, a prominent civil-rights lawyer, echoed other city leaders who suggested that barriers to voting could be hard to recognize and might be unintended, like budget-related reductions in polling sites or staff that result in long lines.
"It’s not like the poll tax or the literacy test, but it’s still preventing people from voting," Mr. Siegel said. "No one thinks of blatant racism in New York, but there are subtle forms of disenfranchisement that still exist."