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Graph of poll closures and voter ID laws in US states

Paige Fusco

Graphic Truth: The great poll closure

In 2013, the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in the case Shelby v. Holder, fundamentally transforming voting in the US.

39,844 polling places have closed down in the years since, primarily in communities of color. Fewer places to vote means it is harder, and sometimes impossible, for voters of color, with disabilities, or low incomes to vote.

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Graphic Truth: Diversity in US and Canada legislatures

Legislatures in both the US and Canada are increasingly more diverse.

The 118th Congress is the most racially and ethnically diverse in US history, with 133 lawmakers – about 25% – who identify as Black, Hispanic, Asian American, American Indian, Alaska Native, or multiracial.

In Canada, the House of Commons is also at its most diverse, and it elected its first Black speaker, Greg Fergus, in 2023.

Both chambers, however, still have a way to go to fully reflect the diversity of their respective populations. In the US, 75% of voting members in Congress are white, compared to their 59% share of the population. In Canada, where 20% of the population are immigrants, the number of immigrants elected to the House has slightly decreased since 2015, from 46 to 44 legislators.

A sign at the flagship event of a nationwide march for voting rights on the 58th anniversary of the March on Washington in August, 2021.

Allison Bailey/NurPhoto/Reuters

15th Amendment as relevant as ever on 154th birthday

Saturday marks 154 years since the ratification of the 15th Amendment to the US Constitution – Feb. 3, 1870 – which guaranteed Black men the right to vote. Given it’s Black History Month and an election year, this makes it the perfect time to revisit this vital moment in US history.

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Ari Winkleman

The Graphic Truth: Black representation in the US Congress

Since Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic "I have a dream" speech in August 1963, the number of Black Americans elected to the US Congress has increased dramatically. Still, it wasn't until 2019, more than half a century later, that the share of Black members serving in the House of Representatives reflected the percentage of Black Americans in the broader population: 12%. To date, only seven US states have sent Black representatives to serve in the US Senate.

Here's a look at Black representation in every US Congress since 1963.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 7, known as the “stop woke act,” in Florida, on April 22, 2022.

Daniel A. Varela/Miami Herald/TNS/ABACAPRESS.COM

Ron DeSantis and the latest battle over Black history

As Black History Month begins today in the US, the country’s latest culture war battle is about … Black history.

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Clarence Page: Why Black voting rights matter
Clarence Page: Why Black Voting Rights Matter | GZERO World

Clarence Page: Why Black voting rights matter

When the 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Clarence Page had just finished high school.

This legislation changed the lives of Black people in America because Jim Crow laws had virtually prevented Blacks from voting in the South with impossible poll questions and literacy tests, he said in an interview with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

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The Graphic Truth: Black immigrants in the US

One in 10 Black Americans was born overseas, up by 3 percentage points since 2000. By 2050, the US Census Bureau estimates that immigrants will make up 15% percent of the Black population in America. The data shows that national origin reflects differing education and average household wealth levels. We look at a few data points distinguishing US- and foreign-born Black Americans.

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