Political Issues: Voting Rights


Following the Supreme Courts decision on June 25, 2013, declaring Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act unconstitutional, several of the southern states, who were no longer required to receive pre-clearance to pass laws related to voting, moved to implement previously blocked regulations. These changes included new voter id requirements and redistricting among others.

Proponents of these new laws, mostly Republicans, argue they are necessary to prevent voter/election fraud. The opponents of these types of laws, typically Democrats, argue they are discriminatory towards minorities, students, the poor, and elderly.

The battle over voting rights can best be summarized in two ways. First, from a non-partisan perspective, there is absolutely a need for election integrity and to make every election as secure as possible. Yet, at the same time, the opportunity to vote should be made easy and accessible to every eligible citizen. The second way to examine the issue is to acknowledge the partisan interests related to voting laws. Republicans generally fair better in elections with low voter turnout while Democrats are more likely to win when voter turnout is high. Voters who are least likely to vote and most affected by these new laws comprise a large portion of the core constituency of the Democratic Party.

Non Partisan Voting Rights Political Issues

In response to the Supreme Court decision, on January 16, 2014, a new Voting Rights bill was introduced in Congress. For more information, check out the Brennan Center for Justice press release regarding this bill, http://www.brennancenter.org/press-release/voting-rights-act-bill-critical-first-step-improve-elections
Additional Voting Rights Links

Supreme Court Decision
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/26/us/supreme-court-ruling.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0Conservative/Pro-Voter ID Organization


In-depth article on Voter Fraud

Liberal/Voter Rights Organization

Brennan Centers Overview of Voting Law Changes in 2013

Opinion Piece on Colorados New Voting Regulations

New IRS Rules Proposed on Voter Registration Drives