September 18, 2012
12-248

Malynda Dorsey
Communications Specialist

VSU Hosts Voter Suppression in Historical and Contemporary Perspective

VALDOSTA -- Valdosta State University's celebration of Constitution Day continues next week with a look into constitutional politics and history. The Department of Political Science, in conjunction with the Department of History, will host Voter Suppression in Historical and Contemporary Perspective Monday at Bailey Science Center Auditorium Monday, Sept. 24 at 6:15 p.m.

The presentation includes Dr. Thomas Aiello, assistant professor of African-American Studies and history, Dr. Mary R. Block, associate professor of history, and Dr. Marc G. Pufong, professor of political science. The speakers will focus on Jim Crow laws, voter suppression and the SupremeCourt during the Jim Crow era and current voter suppression efforts and theU.S. Constitution.

"As the 2012 general election draws near, knowing how voter suppression can affect one's basic rights to make important decisions about his or her daily life has never been so important," said Pufong. "The discussion will highlight points about voter suppression -- then and now -- taking a look at how things have changed and how some things are the same."

The introduction of new voter laws in several states has sparked controversy among several U.S. citizens that suggest the laws have been designed to disenfranchise certain citizens. Some of the policy changes include restricting early voting and requiring photo identification at the polls. Last week, the state Supreme Court in Pennsylvania began hearing a case against the law, which could possibly hinder more than 500,000 citizens throughout the state from voting in the upcoming election.

The subject of voter suppression has stood at the forefront of this year's annual celebration of Constitution Day. Constitution Day was celebrated nationally Monday, Sept. 17 and commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

For more information about the event, contact Pufong at (229) 333-5771 or mpufong@valdosta.edu .