U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) and Home Democratic Chief Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) have launched a invoice to revive and strengthen the Voting Rights Act. The John Lewis Voting Rights Development Act goals to handle the weakening of the 1965 regulation by the U.S. Supreme Courtroom. Underneath this proposed laws, jurisdictions with a historical past of voting discrimination would wish approval from the Division of Justice or a federal court docket earlier than altering their voting legal guidelines to make sure that the modifications usually are not discriminatory. Moreover, the invoice would make it simpler for voters to problem discriminatory voting legal guidelines in court docket.
Dr. Jennifer Jones, director of the Middle for Science and Democracy (CSD) on the Union of Involved Scientists, emphasizes the significance of this laws. She highlights that within the decade for the reason that Supreme Courtroom’s Shelby ruling, no less than 29 states have handed legal guidelines that make it more durable for folks to vote. These legal guidelines disproportionately have an effect on Black, Latino, Asian, and Native voters. Measures reminiscent of lowering polling locations and absentee voting alternatives in areas with massive minority populations, limiting entry to multilingual voting supplies, and facilitating the removing of voters from registration lists have had a discriminatory impression.
Dr. Jones argues that the John Lewis Voting Rights Development Act is important as a result of these state legal guidelines are taking us again to a time when voting was a privilege decided by race and social standing. Such exclusions are detrimental to the general public curiosity as a result of choices made within the absence of numerous voices usually are not actually consultant or equitable. She additionally emphasizes that the well being of a democracy is linked to the well being of a rustic and its folks.
The Middle for Science and Democracy’s report, titled “Our Unhealthy Democracy,” delves additional into how assaults on voting rights undermine public well being, offering extra assets on this subject.