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United States of America vs Ike Brown - Essay Example

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There was recently a case in Nuxombee county of Mississippi where the US government accused a black man, Ike Brown, of unfairly using his position of power as head of the county’s democratic committee to violate the rights of white voters and white candidates through a variety of means…
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United States of America vs Ike Brown
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"United States of America vs Ike Brown"

Download file to see previous pages This essay will summarize the complaints and evidence of that the Government presented against Ike Brown, his defense, as well as comment on the strangeness of this situation, that is, of the government using the voting rights act to prosecute a black man for the violation of white voter’s and candidates rights. The fundamental complaint against Ike Brown by the United States government is that he abused his position as chair of the Democratic Committee in his county to unfairly stop white voters from participating in the primary elections when they had the right to, and unfairly persecuted white candidates who were running in those elections. Some of the governments allegations simply attempted to demonstrate that Brown had a strong bias towards white candidates – this includes statements by Brown criticizing black voters who chose to vote for white candidates, and other acts of outspoken intimidation such as naming a list of white democrats who he discouraged to vote in the election.
They also accused him and the committee he chaired of many procedural violations such as mis-handling the counting of absentee ballots, and allowing campaigning within and around polling stations. They also demonstrated that the elections committee violated state policy by only having about six percent of the polling officers for the Democratic primary be white, even though twenty percent of the Democratic population was white, though with a sample size as small as polling officers and a country of only about 11,000 people, it is hardly surprising this disparity could exist. A great deal of the government’s evidence thus simply tried to show that Brown had a preference for black voters, polling officers and elections officials. But the bulk of their evidence rests on absentee balloting laws, and the Government’s assertion that Brown abused absentee balloting procedure in order to both favor black candidates and prevent white voters from participating in the electoral process, as well as manipulating assisted balloting procedures to favor black candidates. Mississippi state election law has two features that are meant to make elections more accessible: absentee balloting and assisted balloting. Both have strict controls. Absentee balloting is for people who, for some reason, are not able to be present, for instance if they are in school out of state or deployed with the armed forces, but there are strict controls on what excuses allow a person to use an absentee ballot. Assisted balloting is when someone else assists the voter in filling out their ballot, which is only allowed to be done in the case of blindness, physical disability that prevents someone from being able to vote, or demonstrable illiteracy, and who have requested assistance in filling out their ballot. The US Government provided evidence that Brown violated these procedures. The Government contends that Brown accepted and actually even pursued absentee ballots from black voters who were currently living within the county and had no reason whatsoever to vote via an absentee ballot. Furthermore, they presented witness testimony that these ballots were filled by people other than the voters (assisted balloting) despite the fact that the voter was in no way disabled or illiterate and had not requested assistance in filling out their ballot. The government contended that Brown and his associates essentially filled in absentee ballots for black people who were unlikely to vote, brought the ballot in favor of a black candidate for them to authorize, and then sent it away. In some cases they ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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