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Alabama Public Radio Talks with Janai Nelson on the Ramifications of the Supreme Court Voting Rights Decision One Year Ago

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Shelby County V. Holder: One Year Later

It's been one year since the Supreme Court ruled a key provision in the 1965 Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. In Shelby County, Alabama versus Holder the ruling says states with a history of chronic racial discrimination no longer needed to get Justice Department approval for changes to voting rules. Janai Nelson is the Associate Director-Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Alabama Public Radio’s Ryan Vasquez talked with Nelson about the act, and how violations outlawed by the measure are now re-appearing.

Janai Nelson: One of the most egregious laws that I’d like to point out came right out of Alabama, the very citeus of the Shelby County decision. There you have implemented a voucher test for voters who don’t have voter identification and who want to nonetheless vote in an election. Such a voter would have to have two separate poll workers vouch for their identity and that sort of discretionary election enforcement is the very sort of tactic that the Voting Rights Act has outlawed, and now we see places like Alabama re-instituting these Jim Crow-era tactics.

Listen to the conversation here.