Credo Action

Fix the Voting Rights Act

Sign the petition

Sign the petition to Congress:

"The Supreme Court’s Shelby County vs. Holder decision completely gutted the Voting Rights Act and left millions of Americans’ voting rights in jeopardy. Protect voting rights by immediately passing the Voting Rights Amendment Act."

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    Fix the Voting Rights Act

    Nearly 50 years ago, with Martin Luther King Jr. standing beside him, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law to protect African-Americans and other minorities from racist policies that made it harder for them to register to vote and participate in the political process.

    But last summer, the right-wing ideologues on the United States Supreme Court handed down a shameful decision that gutted the Voting Rights Act, ending 40 years of protection for minorities against discriminatory and unfair attempts to limit voting based on one's race.1

    Fortunately, Representatives John Conyers, John Lewis and others have now introduced legislation that would restore and modernize the Voting Rights Act for the 21st century.2 We need to stop Republicans in states around the country from enacting racist voter ID and voter suppression laws. Passing the Voting Rights Amendment Act now is the best way to do it.

    Tell Congress: Restore the Voting Rights Act now.

    While the Supreme Court did not invalidate Section 5, a key part of the Voting Rights Act, it threw out the basic formula that has been used practically since the bill's passage in 1965 to determine where the Justice Department must provide approval before local election rules that would suppress the votes of African-American and Latino citizens can be put into effect. Voter suppression rules can still be challenged by the Department of Justice after the fact, but this often happens too late to prevent minority voters from being blocked from the polls. The court's decision effectively guts the Voting Rights Act, rendering it useless until Congress updates the coverage formula for Section 5.

    Republicans didn’t waste any time in taking advantage of this ruling for electoral gain. Within hours of Supreme Court’s decision, several states in the South immediately announced that they would pursue onerous new voter ID laws that were clearly designed to make it harder for African-Americans and Latinos to vote.3

    It's the same old story of using the irrational fear of voter "fraud" as cover while they work to disenfranchise eligible voters. The truth is, voter fraud is exceedingly rare. More Americans are struck by lightning than commit voter fraud. The real problem, the one that can affect the outcome of our elections if we're not vigilant, is voter suppression.

    Sign the petition: Tell Congress to fight voter suppression and pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act now.

    For decades the Voting Rights Act protected voters in pockets of the country with a history of racially discriminatory voting practices. In 2012, it allowed the Justice Department to block attempts by Texas, South Carolina and Florida to implement discriminatory voting rules. But until Congress restores the Voting Rights Act, right-wing efforts to make it harder for African-Americans and Latino citizens to vote will run completely amok.

    The Voting Rights Amendment Act would fix Section 5, our strongest tool for fighting voter suppression efforts, by updating the formula for determining which states and municipalities need pre-approval from the Department of Justice to change their voting laws. We need to show Congress massive public support for this crucial bill. Let's put the extreme right-wing Republicans in Congress on the hook for not going on the record against efforts in the states to make it harder for African-Americans and Latinos to vote.

    Tell Congress: Restore the Voting Rights Act now.

    1. "'Shelby County': One Year Later," Brennan Center for Justice, June 24, 2014
    2. "H.R. 3899: The Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014," Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner
    3. "Voting Rights in the Post-Shelby county Era," American Constitution Society, June 20, 2014