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 handle the weakening of the 1965 regulation by the U.S. Supreme Courtroom. Below this proposed laws, jurisdictions with a historical past of voting discrimination would wish approval from the Division of Justice or a federal courtroom earlier than altering their voting legal guidelines to make sure that the modifications usually are 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 Courtroom’s Shelby ruling, not less than 29 states have handed legal guidelines that make it tougher for folks to vote. These legal guidelines disproportionately have an effect on Black, Latino, Asian, and Native voters. Measures equivalent to lowering polling locations and absentee voting alternatives in areas with massive minority populations, limiting entry to multilingual voting supplies, and facilitating the removing of voters from registration lists have had a discriminatory impression.
Dr. Jones argues that the John Lewis Voting Rights Development Act is critical 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 selections made within the absence of numerous voices usually are 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 extra sources on this subject.