Bipartisan Bill to Update the Voting Rights Act of 1965 Introduced in House and Senate

A bi-partisan bill to update the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was introduced by Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and John Conyers (D-MI) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT).  The U.S. Supreme Court overturned part of the Voting Rights Act last June, releasing 15 states or localities from having to obtain preapproval from the Department  of Justice for any voting rule changes.  The Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 updates the law by tying it to recent acts of discrimination.  States with five violations of federal law determined by a court over the last 15 years will have to submit future election changes for federal approval (states that would be affected currently are: Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas).  Cities and counties will be covered if they commit three or more violations or have one violation and persistent, extremely low minority voter turnout over the past 15 years. In addition, the bill requires all states and localities to provide public notice of proposed election rule changes.  The bill would not include voter ID laws as one of the five violations needed to keep the state covered.  The bill also removes the requirement that plaintiffs show that a voting rule intentionally discriminate against a minority group.

%d bloggers like this: