166 corporations signal a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to increase the voting rights regulation
In the background, this legislation (apparently named after the late Rep. John Lewis, a Democrat who served Georgia and is a civil rights icon) would update the Voting Act to reflect a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that left jurisdictions with a A history of discrimination requires obtaining pre-approval for new voting rules. Why was that important? So places with a history of discrimination could not simply impose new rules and requirements that would further disenfranchise people. Makes sense.
However, in the Shelby County v Holder case, the court ultimately ruled 5 to 4 that this was unconstitutional and ruled that the formula used was out of date. This ruling essentially gutted the voting rights law. Shortly thereafter, Republican lawmakers made it harder for citizens to vote, for example by imposing new requirements on voter cards and abolishing same-day voting options.
And now? In short, this bill would re-mandate that these jurisdictions require pre-approval from the Department of Justice to make changes to their electoral laws and procedures based on an updated formula. It is important! And, as you can imagine, Republican lawmakers are not anxious to get things back where they should be.
The letter admits that color communities face particular barriers to voting because of the oppression of voters. “Despite decades of progress, many states still have barriers to the exercise of the right to vote, especially for communities of color,” the letter said in part. “We need federal protection to protect this fundamental right for all Americans.”
Interestingly, the letter does not mention Donald Trump by name. Why could it Because, as Daily Kos reported in detail, Trump tried again and again to overturn the results of the 2020 elections. Daily Kos has also looked at a number of bills that Republicans like Georgia Governor Brian Kemo have pushed at the state level to further disengage voters.
Instead, the letter focuses on a positive framework for the United States. An example? Regarding the 2020 election, the letter said, “Americans came together to take the polls, cast and vote despite the pandemic, and in the process to achieve historic levels of voter turnout.” That is great – and it It is everyone’s responsibility to combat voter suppression and discrimination, and to ensure that every American can exercise his or her right to vote.
Colored communities must have protected their ability to vote. Bring the Voting Rights Promotion Act to a vote in the Senate.