Associate Director-Counsel Janai Nelson joined members of the Voting Rights Caucus and other experts in the field for a panel at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 46th Annual Legislative Conference entitled “The Federal Case for Voter Protection and the VRA.” Panelists discussed overcoming the challenges of voter supression and the important work necessary for ensuring the Voting Rights Act effectively combats present day voter discrimination.

More than 34 states have introduced new voting laws ranging from shortening early voting periods to multiple ID requirements despite the dearth of evidence of in-person voter fraud. In the upcoming elections, 3 million voters are likely to be disenfranchised including people of color, seniors, students, and those with disabilities. This is the first election in 50 years without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act because of the nullification of Section 4 mandating a new coverage formula for states.

Additional panelists included:

  • Justin Levitt, Deputy Assistant to the Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice
  • Barbara Arnwine, President and Founder, Transformative Justice Coalition
  • Wade Henderson, President and CEO, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Rev. Rodney Sadler, Associate Professor of Union Presbertyian Seminary
  • Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • Rep. John Lewis, Co-Chair, Voting Rights Caucus