Voters Lack Vital Protections One Year after Shelby Decision
One year ago this week, the U.S. Supreme Court gutted key provisions of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder leaving room for discrimination to gain an even better foothold at the ballot box. The past year has been one of mixed emotions for voting rights advocates.
In January, we were hopeful as a bipartisan group of legislators introduced the Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA) a workable, commonsense solution that would modernize the elections process and protect voting rights against discrimination. Hope has turned to frustration as we approach the Shelby anniversary. After five months, Congress still needs to do its part and keep this legislative fix moving forward.
This week, the Senate took an important step, holding a hearing on voting rights and discrimination. Now it is time for the House of Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead and move this bill forward.
In five short months, voters will be heading to the polls and will do so without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. While unfortunately, there will be some voters that encounter discrimination in November, League members stand ready to help them get registered and vote.
The anniversary of the Shelby decision is not a celebration but we should use this occasion as motivation. There is no better time to push the fight for equality at the ballot box closer to finish line. Let’s get this done; let’s work to protect all eligible voters.
League of Women Voters of [NAME]