Since 1965, the Voting Rights Act (VRA) has protected minority voters at the polls.

In June 2013, in a huge blow to democracy, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the coverage formula used for Section 5 of the VRA, which required jurisdictions with significant histories of voter discrimination to “pre-clear” any new voting practices or procedures, i.e., get federal approval from the Department of Justice, and show that they do not have a discriminatory purpose or effect.

Importantly, however, the 5-4 decision did not strike down Section 5 itself, leaving it to Congress to devise a new coverage formula. The ACLU is working with Congress to do just that.

The bipartisan Voting Rights Advancement Act (Advancement Act) has been introduced in the both the Senate (S. 1659) and the House (H.R. 2867). The Advancement Act responds to the Court’s directive and provides key protections against voting discrimination to compensate for the loss of the formula under which states are covered by the preclearance requirement.
Congress must act now as we mark the third anniversary of the Shelby County decision and approach the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. States have wasted no time implementing new voting restrictions. In 2016, seventeen states will have new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election. Learn More

Related Resources:

LCCHR Report: Warning Signs: The Potential Impact of Shelby County v. Holder on the 2016 General Election

Timeline of the Voting Rights Act

Voter Suppression Laws: What’s New Since the 2012 Presidential Election [MAP]

Coalition Letter to Debate Hosts Urging Inclusion of Voting Rights

The Battle to Protect the Ballot: Voter Suppression Measures Passed Since 2013 [MAP]

ACLU Statement for Senate Judiciary Hearing on the Voting Rights Amendment Act, s. 1945: Updating the Voting Rights Act in Response to Shelby County v. Holder

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