Politic365

 
 


Voting Laws

3:12am January 18, 2014

New voting rights bill introduced, civil rights groups suggest amendments

voting rights

This week a new voting rights bill was introduced as an attempt to remedy the Supreme Court decision last year that gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Last year’s Supreme Court decision struck down a portion of the law that required states with a history of voting discrimination to get clearance from the federal government before making changes to voting laws in their jurisdiction.

The new bill introduced by Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), John Conyers (D-MI), and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) creates a new coverage formula for the states that have a history of voting discrimination and requires states that discriminate against voters five times over a 15 year period to fall under federal supervision. The bill also mandates that any changes to voting laws that occur within six months of an election will require public notice and publication on the Internet of those changes so that the voting population can be aware of the changes.

The new voting rights bill does not address voter ID requirements.

According to Ari Melber at MSNBC:

“While the Supreme Court has upheld the concept of photo identification requirements to vote, some lower courts have found such requirements do violate the Voting Rights Act. The bill attempts to sidestep that precedent in its new formula for patrolling discrimination.

It states that violations based on voter ID do not count toward the “five strikes” in the formula.”

Rep. Sensenbrenner has been a supporter of voter ID laws.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has expressed disappointment with the new bill because of the exclusion of voter ID laws and a decreased preclearance region.

In a statement, the NAACP said:

“The NAACP appreciates that the U.S. Congress has made a bipartisan effort to update the Voting Rights Act, however we have serious concerns about the ability of some provisions in this bill to protect ALL voters from discrimination at the polls … From the exceptions for voter ID laws to decreased preclearance coverage to increased reliance on costly litigation, there are essential revisions and amendments to this bill that must take place to ensure ALL voters have fair and equitable access to the ballot box.”

The folks at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) also seek the strengthen the newly introduced bill.

In a statement, MALDEF’s President Thomas Saenz said:

“At the same time, MALDEF strongly supports and will actively champion the inclusion in this legislation of what has been called ‘known practices coverage.’ This new approach would supplement the provisions introduced today by ensuring that certain limited electoral practices, historically demonstrated to be a threat to voting rights, are subject to a pre-clearance process, including in jurisdictions that have experienced a more recent change in population diversity. This approach will ensure that the new VRA pre-clearance mechanism serves a dynamic and fast-evolving twenty-first century America, rather than requiring challenges to these known suspect voting practices to be waged through time-consuming and cumbersome litigation that is extremely costly to both plaintiffs and defendants. Inclusion of ‘known practices coverage’ will secure a VRA that continues to support a robust national democracy through the next half-century and beyond.”



About the Author

Adriana Maestas
Adriana Maestas is the senior contributing editor of Politic365.com. The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and have complete editorial independence from any Politic365 partners, sponsors, or advertisers. For additional information about Politic365, please visit http://politic365.com/about/.




 
 

 
pence4

Indiana Governor Just Can’t Say “No” to LGBT Discrimination

In a failed attempt at misdirection, double talk and dodged questions, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence made the mistake of saying yes to a twenty minute interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.  What Pence failed to do is giv...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 
 
Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 9.38.25 AM

Senator Harry Reid announces retirement, eyes turn toward Nevada’s Latino electorate

Today Nevada Senator Harry Reid announced his retirement. The Senate Minority Leader insisted that this announcement had nothing to do with a recent eye injury, and it is being reported that Reid had made this decision privatel...
by Adriana Maestas
2

 
 
g-k-butterfield

Butterfield: Politically Driven Open Internet Debate Should Not Slow Sound Broadband Policy

Hailing from Wilson, North Carolina, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Congressman G.K. Butterfield understands well the challenges facing many Americans today. Comprised of roughly three-quarters of a million people, 53% of ...
by Kristal High
1

 

Advertisement
 
aaron1

Kardashian Congressman Aaron Schock is GOP’s Welfare Queen

Could Anyone Be This Stupid? The Answer is YES.  American taxpayers funded $79,000 in furniture and $29,000 on a photographer over four months for soon-to-be-funded Rep. Aaron Schock (D-IL).  This is the same Rep. Schock who ...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
1

 
 
6236984564_639ea5c68a_b

Canadian born Ted Cruz to enter GOP race for president, let the birther stories begin

On Sunday, it was announced that Texas Senator Ted Cruz will launch his presidential campaign on Monday at Liberty University in Virginia. While Jeb Bush is “exploring” a run for president, Ted Cruz would be the fir...
by Adriana Maestas
5

 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>