Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), submitted testimony to the New York State Standing Committee on Elections to urge the Elections Committee to prioritize passage of S1406A, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York (NYVRA). The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York represents a critical opportunity for New York to confront head-on its extended legacy of voting discrimination. The 2013 Supreme Court Case, Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder gutted an essential provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 known as preclearance. For fifty years, preclearance required jurisdictions with a history and ongoing record of voting discrimination to submit any proposed changes to their voting practices or procedures to a federal authority for preclearance prior to implementation. New York’s Bronx, Kings, and New York Counties were each included among these jurisdictions The NYVRA takes a number of critical steps to restore key protections that were lost following the Shelby decision and expand the tools available to protect the right to vote.

Read the full testimony here


Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.