U.S. Rep. Terry Sewell (D-Ala.) and Property Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.I.) have introduced a bill to renew and strengthen the Voting Rights Act. The John Lewis Voting Rights Improvement Act aims to address the US Supreme Court’s weakening of the 1965 law. Beneath this proposed law, jurisdictions with a history of voting discrimination would have to have approval from the Justice Division or a federal court prior to altering voting laws to make sure the alterations are not discriminatory. In addition, the bill would make it a lot easier for voters to challenge discriminatory voting laws in court.

Dr. Jennifer Jones, director of the Center for Science and Democracy (CSD) at the Union of Concerned Scientists, highlights the significance of this bill. She points out that in the decade given that the Supreme Court’s Shelby ruling, at least 29 states have passed laws creating it tougher for people today to vote. These laws disproportionately have an effect on black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American voters. Measures such as minimizing polling stations and absentee voting possibilities in regions with massive minority populations, limiting access to multilingual voting components and creating it a lot easier to delete voters from the rolls have had a discriminatory influence.

Dr. Jones argues that the John Lewis Voting Rights Improvement Act is needed mainly because these state laws take us back to a time when voting was a privilege determined by race and social status. Such exclusions are dangerous to the public interest mainly because choices produced in the absence of diverse voices are not definitely representative or fair. She also emphasizes that the wellness of democracy is linked to the wellness of a nation and its people today.

The Center for Science and Democracy’s report, “Our Unhealthy Democracy,” goes additional into how attacks on voting rights undermine public wellness, giving further sources on the subject.

By Editor

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