By Robert A. Vella

As widely suspected, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, that had declared portions of North Carolina’s extreme voting restrictions as unconstitutional, until after the 2014 elections.  From Yahoo NewsSupreme Court reinstates controversial North Carolina voting measures:

The US Supreme Court has issued a stay to block an appeals court decision that reinstated same-day voter registration and out-of-precinct provisional voting in North Carolina in advance of next month’s midterm elections.

The high court took the action in a one-paragraph order issued late Wednesday. Two justices dissented.

The action puts on hold a decision last week by a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., that reversed a portion of an earlier ruling by a federal judge upholding North Carolina’s new voter ID and registration law.

A new report released by the non-partisan GAO has confirmed the discriminatory effect of voter id laws in the two U.S. states included in the study.  From The Washington PostVoter ID laws in Kansas and Tennessee dropped 2012 turnout by over 100,000 votes:

In response to a request from a group of Democratic senators, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office analyzed the effect of voter ID laws in Kansas and Tennessee on 2012 turnout. Their findings? Turnout dropped at least 1.9 percentage points in Kansas and 2.2 percentage points in Tennessee thanks to the laws. By our calculations, that’s 122,000 fewer votes.

The 200-plus-page report looks at several issues related to laws aimed at tightening rules around voting. The GAO compiled detailed data on various demographic groups in states that changed their laws, reviewed past studies on the effects of new laws on turnout, and attempted to gather data on instances of voter fraud, the rationale usually provided for changing voting rules. Democrats counter that the laws are thinly veiled efforts to reduce the number of their supporters that vote, by adding additional obstacles to black and young voters.

The GAO report suggests that, intentional or not, that’s what happened in Kansas and Tennessee. This chart summarizes what it found.

As a side note, another study conducted by the Women Donors Network has documented what every American should already know – that the vast majority of politicians are white men.  From MSNWhite men hold 65 percent of US elected offices: study:

White men hold 65 percent of local and federal elected seats in the United States, though they make up only 31 percent of the population, according to a new study.

The data revealed that women and people of color remain overwhelmingly underrepresented in US elected offices, said the Women Donors Network, which conducted the study that was partially released Tuesday.

The research determined that white men have eight times as much political power as women of color.

This is not democracy.  Until the very people who are most disaffected by the U.S. political system – and who are most disadvantaged by it – decide to participate, these gross inequalities and injustices in America will go on… and on… and on.