While the focus has been on Charleston, South Carolina and the #CharlestonShooting. Senate Democrats are set to present a bill to restore a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) that was struck down by the United States Supreme Court 2-years ago.
In 2013 the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the VRA that required states with a history of voter discrimination to receive approval for any changes to voting from the federal government. 9 states were covered by this; Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. Parts of six others states California, Florida, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, South Dakota were also covered.
Almost immediately after the Supreme Court’s ruling, states like North Carolina and Texas adopted new Voter ID Laws that were challenged by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The Voting Rights Advancement Act that will be introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (Vermont-D) restores the strength of the VRA
States with 15 voting violations over the past 25 years, or 10 violations if one was statewide, to submit future election changes for federal approval. This new formula would initially cover 13 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. Coverage would last for a 10-year period.
I’m pretty sure this bill will face some difficulty in passing. It will be up to the Democratic presidential candidates like Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders to make this and issue during their campaigns. Republicans will have to be shamed into addressing voter’s rights.
If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin