Protect Voting Rights

Restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965

The right to vote has long been challenged in America, and in recent years many states have made it more difficult to vote through restrictions on early voting, voter ID laws, and purging of voter rolls.

The Supreme Court accelerated these changes in 2013 by deciding to weaken the Voting Rights Act of 1965. States with a history of disenfranchisement no longer need Congressional approval to change their voting procedures.

These restrictive laws, enacted for partisan advantage, have disproportionately affected poor and minority voters.

Lawmakers and activists are organizing to restore the Voting Rights Act to full strength as a tool for election defense.

CREDIT: Daniel Wheaton, San Diego Union Tribune, based on research conducted at the University of California San Diego and Bucknell University.

As the leading democracy of the world, the U.S. should work to keep voting free, fair, and accessible.
— Brennan Center for Justice

Pending Legislation

[NEDC does not endorse any particular legislation]

The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 was introduced in the House and Senate to reverse damage done to minority voting rights by the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court decision. The bill aims to:

  • Modernize the preclearance formula to cover states with a pattern of discrimination that puts voters at risk
  • Ensure that last-minute voting changes won’t adversely affect voters
  • Protect voters from the types of voting changes most likely to discriminate against people of color and language minorities
  • Enhance the ability to apply preclearance review when needed
  • Expands the effective federal observer program
  • Improves voting rights protections for Native Americans and Alaska Natives

The states that would be affected include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.