Written by Ben Gramling
A week ago Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is no longer applicable. This section includes a formula that identifies the areas of the country with repressive voting histories, so that federal authorities can more closely scrutinize changes in their voting laws. VRA is one of the crowning achievements of the civil rights movement, and is key to protecting the franchise for minority voters.
Until Congress passes a new formula, the Voting Rights Act is essentially toothless. This fact has not been lost on the formerly-covered states. Within days of the court's decision, six of those nine states began to push anti-voter laws. In fact, just two hours after the decision, Texas announced that it would implement both repressive voter ID and redistricting plans.
This is unacceptable. Congress MUST make passing a new formula a top priority. Common Cause has undertaken a national campaign to pressure elected representatives, #CongressMustAct. We are asking our supporters and allies to send in pictures of themselves holding our sign, pictured below.
The right to vote is the foundation of our society, and the systematic disenfranchisement of citizens for political gain is a repulsive waste of the taxpayers' resources. Taking action is never easy, and always will be an uphill struggle; this is why citizens must stand up for their right to vote. Every day that Congress is not actively working towards a new formula is a day that some states are working to undermine the rights of their citizens. It has to stop now. Congress must act.
Help us take back our democracy--sign our photo petition today.
Ben Gramling is a rising junior at St. Mary's College of Maryland majoring in Psychology. He is working as an intern in Common Cause's DC office for the summer.
Office: Common Cause National
Issues: Voting and Elections