Report Contains Almost 150 Violations against Voters of Color, Shows Persistent Modern-Day Discrimination across the Country
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights today released a new report, The Persistent Challenge of Voting Discrimination, which details nearly 150 recent voting violations. The report was released in advance of the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, and demonstrates the urgent need to find solutions to protect the right to vote for all Americans, and for Congress to pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act before November’s elections.
“Voting is the language of American democracy: if you don’t vote, you don’t count,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “While our country has made progress in the 50 years since Freedom Summer, this report shows that discrimination at the ballot box is unfortunately still alive and well across America. It is time for Congress to pass modern, 21st century protections found in the Voting Rights Amendment Act to combat this documented discrimination and protect the fundamental right to vote for all.”
The new report details 148 separate instances of racial discrimination in voting since 2000, noting that each case, by its nature, impacts hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of voters. It also includes a separate section detailing potentially discriminatory voting changes that have been enacted just since the Supreme Court’s decision weakened the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in June 2013. The discriminatory activities in the report are drawn from multiple public sources, including the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) website and published judicial opinions.
Some key findings of the new report, The Persistent Challenge of Voting Discrimination, include:
Many of the violations detailed in the report were also included in a document sent to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and members of the House Judiciary Committee in response to a request for documentation about the reality of ongoing discrimination against minority voters. House Judiciary Committee members are being urged to hold a hearing on the Voting Rights Amendment Act (H.R. 3899/S. 1945), introduced with bipartisan support in January 2014, as a direct response to the Supreme Court’s opinion in the Shelby case. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold its first hearing on the Voting Rights Amendment Act on June 25, 2014.