Election cases hinge on race
RALEIGH — In 1835, Alexis de Toqueville wrote, "In almost all the states where slavery has been abolished, voting rights have been granted to the Negro, but, if he comes forward to vote, he risks his life."
A hundred years after the French political writer toured the United States, slavery had long been abolished in all of the states, but in many, the reality for black voters had not changed.
In the decades since, race and election law in the United States have become intertwined in ways that are both understandable and vexing.
Since the 1980s, state law, federal law and court decisions have combined to create a world where race cannot be discounted, but also not overemphasized, when it comes to elections and election districts.
Today, courts in North Carolina and at the federal level are ...