In the News

I’ve met a lot of white people who believe that black students get so much financial aid and scholarships that they don’t have to pay for college. [...]

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But the A. Philip Randolph Institute, an African-American trade union group, the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, and Larry Harmon, a man who was purged from the rolls, are suing the state over the law.

The Justice Department released an amicus brief in the case, currently before the Supreme Court, over whether Ohio can continue to remove “infrequent voters” who fail to cast a ballot over a six-year period.

In 2016, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Demos filed a lawsuit on behalf of Larry Harmon, 60, an Ohio resident who was purged from the voter rolls after he decided not to vote in two elections. [...]

Ohio’s law allows the state to eliminate from voter rolls any registered voter who has not shown any “voting activity” in the last six years. The plaintiff, Larry Harmon, backed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the think tank Demos, filed suit when he was found he was removed from the voting rolls for not attending the polls from 2008 to 2015.

The Trump Justice Department is undermining the ability of people to vote, said Brenda Wright, the vice president of policy and legal strategies at Dēmos, which is representing the plaintiffs in the Ohio case.

Stuart Naifeh has seen the other side, where eligible voters were snared in voter removal efforts. He is a senior counsel with the advocacy group Demos, which teamed up with the 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East union to intervene in the Broward case on behalf of the elections office.

The Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic party is convinced it has a solution: have the party move left. “People are looking for a populism, but a multi-racial populism,” Heather McGhee, of the leftist voting-rights group Demos, said on Meet the Press this morning. “They’re looking for candidates who say, ‘I’m willing to take on the wealthy and powerful, and also I’m not willing to let the wealthy and powerful divide us from each other so that they can have the spoils of our great nation.’”

Larry Harmon, 60, hadn’t voted in a while when he drove to the high school in November 2015 to weigh in on a local referendum in Kent, Ohio. But he wasn’t allowed to cast his ballot. [...]

It’s worth noting, first of all, that black and Hispanic college students are more likely to have to borrow to pay for a college education and that they end up having to borrow more money to cover college costs. A study from Demos analyzing federal data found that 86 percent of black students and 87 percent of Hispanic students got loans to attend private universities, compared to 72 percent of whites.

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