A Black Woman Is Being Punished For Trying To Vote

Vote election sign
William Anderson
January 10, 2020

Lanisha Bratcher is facing prison time… and her crime was trying to vote. 

Since this Black woman voted in the 2016 election and violated a law she didn’t know about, she's being threatened. One of the wildest things about her story? That a law as racist as this still exists.

Lanisha could end up going to prison for over a year “based on a Jim Crow-era law that was intended to disenfranchise African Americans.”

Essentially, because she was on probation, she wasn’t allowed to vote. According to North Carolina law where she lives, voting would have only been okay upon the completion of her sentence. Black people disproportionately get disenfranchised by laws such as this, of course.

The Guardian reported that prosecutors brought charges against her despite the fact officials noted her vote was potentially an accident. However, that didn’t matter to them. And she’s not alone.

Lanisha is among numerous other Black people who “said they thought their criminal records were cleared and had no idea they were not eligible to vote in 2016.” 

What’s absurd is that they were going to do what they thought was right only to discover the vast limitations on their rights.

Black people have to go out of our way to vote, often standing in longer lines and jumping through hoops to overcome voter suppression. Our right to vote is not something that should be taken lightly, especially when we consider cases like Lanisha’s.

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