New York Times – Washington June 24, 2013
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was one of the towering legislative achievements of the civil rights movement. Its central provision, Section 5, requires many state and local governments, mostly in the South, to obtain permission from the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington before making changes in laws that affect voting.
The Supreme Court effectively struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by a 5-to-4 vote, ruling that Congress had not provided adequate justification for subjecting nine states, mostly in the South, to federal oversight.
For more from the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/26/us/supreme-court-ruling.html?_r=0
From the NAACP CEO & President, Benjamin Jealous: A narrow majority has ruled that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional. This is the formula used to determine which states and localities need preclearance before changing their voting laws.
With the formula scrapped, the Department of Justice’s most effective tool to prevent voter disenfranchisement has been put on hold … for now. The decision also gives Congress clear authority to enact a new formula that ensures no one is denied the right to vote.
Voting rights activists must fight this ruling. Here are a few ways. Please “leave a comment” with your ideas. We did not risk our lives and lose our comrades to give up on strong, pro-active, affirmative voting protections for African Americans and all people of color who face enormous barriers to the vote.
1. Read and Sign the NAACP Petition for Congress to Act now: http://www.naacp.org/defend-voting-rights
2. Make sure that you personally do everything you can to change the balance of elected officials in Congress during the Mid-Term election this Fall. Predictably low-turn outs for non-presidential elections make it possible for extreme conservatives to be elected. Without a progressive majority in Congress, we will never get the voter protections we need and moderate justices will continue to be denied seats.Volunteer to distribute voter education materials, drive people to the polls and be a poll watcher through your political party, union or county election office.
Even if none of your representatives are up for election this Fall you can work phonebanking, travel to districts with elections, use social media and donate to campaigns to help elect candidates who will fight for voting rights.
3. Continue to advocate and educate against discriminatory voter ID laws. For more information search www.naacp.org and read the NAACP Report: DEFENDING DEMOCRACY: Confronting Modern Barriers to Voting Rights in America
Never give up! ¡Si se puede!