June 26, 2014
Susan Davis Moves to Strengthen Voting Rights Laws
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego) cosponsored the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act (H.R. 3899) to reinstate and strengthen voting protections that were recently struck down by the Supreme Court last year. These provisions were designed to protect voters in states with a history of racial discrimination by requiring these states to get preclearance when altering their voting laws.
“While a lot of progress has been made in voting rights over the years - much of that due to the Voting Rights Act - there is still a need to ensure that eligible voters a have equal access to polls,’” said Rep. Davis. “The updated formula prescribed in the bill will provide those protections and adhere to the judicial concerns expressed by the Court.”
In June 2013, the Supreme Court invalidated Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act . This section outlined the formula prescribing which states and jurisdictions with a history of discrimination must obtain preclearance before changing any voting law. However, in its ruling, the Court declared that Congress may draft another formula based on current conditions.
Rather than single out certain states, H.R. 3899 would establish nationwide coverage where preclearance would be triggered if a state commits voting violations within a recent time period and/or has persistently lower minority voter turnout.
In 2006, the Voting Rights Act was reauthorized with Davis voting in the House in favor of reauthorization. In Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 containing the formula for preclearance. The bipartisan VRAA is in response to the Court ruling.