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New Report Shows Continued Pattern of Voting Rights Discrimination—African American, Latino, Asian American and Native American Voters More Vulnerable Than Ever
On the anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act and a year after the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v Holder decision gutted a vital protection of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), the National Commission on Voting Rights has released a new report showing where and how minority voters continue to be harmed by racial discrimination in voting. The report, Protecting Minority Voters: Our Work is Not Done, challenges the Court’s rationale that improvements in minority citizens’ rates of voting and voter registration and the success of minority candidates indicated that the coverage formula protecting minority voters was unconstitutionally outdated.
Among the Report Findings Between 1995–2014:
- Voting discrimination is a frequent and ongoing problem in the United States. There were about 332 successful voting rights lawsuits and denials of Section 5 preclearance by the U.S. Department of Justice and another ten non-litigation settlements.
- Formerly covered states in the South and Southwest stand out with some of worst records of voting discrimination–with Texas being at the top of the list. Texas stands out as having a remarkably high level of documented voting discrimination, including multiple state-level violations. And the States of Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina were not far behind.
- From this report, we can also see that voting discrimination takes a variety of forms. Discriminatory redistricting plans and at-large elections continue to prompt the most successful lawsuits under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. However, there were also 48 successful lawsuits and ten non-litigation settlements relating to language translation and assistance.
With the support of a broad-based coalition of national, state and community-based organizations, the National Commission on Voting Rights conducted twenty-five state and regional hearings across the country, where we heard from hundreds of voters, grassroots activists, state and local advocates, and experts on the wide range of issues impacting voters today.
The following summaries represent some examples of discriminatory voting practices that were shared at the hearing. Additional testimony related to election administration specific issues will be released this fall along with the Commission’s second report.
- Temen más discriminación en el voto de minorías written by María Peña, La Opinión (07-Aug-2014)
- Where is Voter Discrimination the Worst? written by Sarah Childress, PBS (06-Aug-2014)
- A Year Later, Holder, Civil Rights Groups Decry Impact of Voting Rights Ruling written by Greg Gordon, Bradenton Herald (26-Jun-2014)
- Voting Rights Still “Under Siege,” Says New Coalition for Redistricting Reform written by Anna Challet, News America Media (25-Jun-2014)
- Columbus Event Examines State Voting Law Changes written by Jim Letizia, Ohio Public Radio (30-May-2014)
- Voting Rights Advocates Share Concerns over Ohio Voter ID Provision written by Jo Ingles, Ideastream (30-May-2014)
- Testimony Reveals Native Americans Still Face Obstacles at the Polls written by Scott Feldman, Rapid City Journal (02-May-2014)
- Nebraska Leaders Testify at National Commission on Voting Rights Hearing written by Jeff Sheldon, Nebraska Appleseed (21-Apr-2014)
- North Carolina Voters Face Unnecessary Obstacles to the Polls written by , Greater Diversity News (14-Apr-2014)
- ALEC increase voter restrictions written by Felix Perez, Education Votes (11-Apr-2014)
- Florida Voting Looks Smooth for This Year, But Problems Predicted for Next Presidential Election written by Anthony Man, Sun Sentinel (06-Apr-2014)
- Voters Are Told to Hold Everything - Yes, Everything - At Some Polling Places written by Anthony Man, Sun Sentinel (06-Apr-2014)
- Locals Testify on Florida’s Voting Problems written by Jessica Meszaros, WGGU NPR News (01-Apr-2014)
- Voting Rights Hearing Clarifies Rampant Problems with Elections, Precincts written by Jaime Bennis, The Daily Free Press (01-Apr-2014)
- Voting Rights Commission discusses election changes written by Andy Mattison, Central North Carolina TWC News (08-Mar-2014)
- Civil Rights Group Holds Hearing On Voter Issues written by Michael Lynch, 90.5 WESA (17-Feb-2014)
- National Voting Rights commission Stops in Columbia written by Jack Kuenzie, WTOC 11 (16-Feb-2014)
- Voting Advocates Say Covered California Can Do More to Increase Voter Registration written by Lisa Aliferis, The California Report: State of Health (31-Jan-2014)