The US needs to fundamentally address its electoral system, warned the UN special envoy for minority rights, Fernand de Varennes.
He points to a “large number of legal measures” that undermine democracy in the country and in practice make it difficult for some minorities to vote.
“Unfortunately, it is starting to turn out to be a kind of majority oppression where minorities are denied the right to vote in many areas,” says de Varennes, after two weeks of investigations on the ground in the US.
After last fall’s election, rights groups found that regulations were introduced in at least 19 states that limit voting possibilities. In Texas, for example, mail voting has become more difficult, and the Department of Justice has taken legal action against it.
De Varennes says it is also largely about so-called “constituency manipulation”. It is a serious attempt to redraw the geographical boundaries of constituencies to include or exclude certain groups, in favor of an individual party or individual candidate.
Black Americans are clearly the hardest hit, according to the UN envoy, who will present an official report in a few months.
The United States stands out among democracies, with insufficient legislation regarding the establishment and protection of human rights, says Fernand de Varennes.