U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) and Home Democratic Chief Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) have launched a invoice to revive and strengthen the Voting Rights Act. The John Lewis Voting Rights Development Act goals to deal with the weakening of the 1965 legislation by the U.S. Supreme Court docket. Below this proposed laws, jurisdictions with a historical past of voting discrimination would want approval from the Division of Justice or a federal courtroom earlier than altering their voting legal guidelines to make sure that the adjustments are usually not discriminatory. Moreover, the invoice would make it simpler for voters to problem discriminatory voting legal guidelines in courtroom.
Dr. Jennifer Jones, director of the Heart for Science and Democracy (CSD) on the Union of Involved Scientists, emphasizes the significance of this laws. She highlights that within the decade because the Supreme Court docket’s Shelby ruling, at the least 29 states have handed legal guidelines that make it more durable for folks to vote. These legal guidelines disproportionately have an effect on Black, Latino, Asian, and Native voters. Measures reminiscent of decreasing polling locations and absentee voting alternatives in areas with giant minority populations, limiting entry to multilingual voting supplies, and facilitating the elimination of voters from registration lists have had a discriminatory influence.
Dr. Jones argues that the John Lewis Voting Rights Development Act is important as a result of these state legal guidelines are taking us again to a time when voting was a privilege decided by race and social standing. Such exclusions are detrimental to the general public curiosity as a result of choices made within the absence of various voices are usually not actually consultant or equitable. She additionally emphasizes that the well being of a democracy is related to the well being of a rustic and its folks.
The Heart for Science and Democracy’s report, titled “Our Unhealthy Democracy,” delves additional into how assaults on voting rights undermine public well being, offering further sources on this subject.