Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby v. Holder, voter suppression and discrimination have been allowed to run rampant and without remedy in our nation. As the 2020 general election approaches, we face a once-in-a-lifetime election and a year with massive implications for the census and redistricting. It is imperative that we ensure our democratic processes remain fair and equitable. The success of our election, census, and redistricting depends on each other, and our democracy cannot function at its best when we don’t protect the very things that hold it up.
The protections outlined in the Voting Rights Advancement Act will:
• Re-establish pre-clearance coverage for states and localities with a history and pattern of discrimination in voting that relies on up-to-date information.
• Provide pre-clearance nationwide for political subdivisions with substantial minority populations for a limited number of voting changes that historically have been found to be discriminatory, such as changes in methods of election and cuts in polling locations.
• Create greater transparency and public notice for late-breaking voting changes just before an election, changes in polling resources, and demographic and electoral data.
It is an unfortunate fact that discrimination in voting against racial, ethnic, and language minorities continues to go unchecked and unremedied in America. Building a future with better policy outcomes means making sure our election rules and processes remain secure. This should be unacceptable in a nation that takes pride in its democratic values. Reform has passed the U.S. House and now it waits in the Senate. It’s time we call on our Senators to act on the Voting Rights Advancement Act and put an end to voter suppression in this country.