Net Roots Movement

Lets Make Change.

Voting Rights Act Set to Expire

By Chris Casey

A number of important articles in the Voting Rights Act, the legislation the ensures the right to vote to every U.S. citizen, are set to expire in 2007. Specifically section 5, requiring jurisdictions with significant histories of discrimination in voting to get federal approval of any new voting practices or procedures; Section 203, ensuring that voters with limited English proficiency get the help they need at the polls; and Sections 6-9, authorizing the attorney general to appoint federal election observers where there is evidence of attempts to intimidate minority voters at the polls.

In a time when disenfranchising voters is a political tactic, several groups are fighting to keep the Voting Rights Act alive. One such group is the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) who has just launched its “Every Voice. Every Vote. Renew the Voting Rights Act.” campaign to bring attention to this increasingly relevant issue.

Despite the efforts of the ACLU and similar groups, the fast approaching expiration of the VRA has yet to break the surface of the T.V. or print news media. When conducting a Google News search of “Expiration + Voting Rights Act” or “Renewal + Voting Rights Act” only four articles surfaced mentioning the topic.

I was lucky to be present for a portion of a closed meeting at the National Education Association where this issue was discussed. Reverend Jesse Jackson as well as several other African American leaders and ACLU attorneys were present to discuss what needs to be done about the VRA, specifically as it relates to the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Thousands of people were displaced by the hurricane and are now unable to vote in the upcoming election. This is due, in part, to an inadequate response by the republican administration, a party that will surly benefit from low minority turnout in a traditionally democratic area.

Reverend Jackson talked of a march in New Orleans at the time of the election, this April, in hopes that it will bring more media and public attention to the issue of the VRA and put pressure on members of congress to support the renewal of the expiring sections.


March 16, 2006 - Posted by | The Progressive Movement

1 Comment »

  1. mdcexctfmcyymdudwell, hi admin adn people nice forum indeed. how’s life? hope it’s introduce branch 😉

    Comment by erysfuspecoubarrier | December 31, 2008 | Reply

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