U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Releases Report: An Assessment of Minority Voting Rights Access in the United States

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights,  September 12, 2018

Key unanimous findings and recommendations from the Commission include:

In states across the country — and particularly in many previously covered under the preclearance requirements of the VRA — new laws and voting procedures are impacting minority voting rights. Examples of such laws and procedures include:

o Strict voter ID laws;
o Closing polling places;
o Cutting early voting;
o Voting roll purges and challenges to eligibility.

Since Shelby County halted the federal preclearance regime, elections have taken place under laws that were later found in court to be intentionally discriminatory against communities of color.

In the face of ongoing discrimination in voting procedures enacted by states across the country, enforcement and litigation under Section 2 of the VRA is an inadequate, costly and often slow method for protecting voting rights.

• Because of the nature of voting rules being broadly applicable to all eligible voters, a single change in law, procedure, or practice can disproportionately affect large numbers of eligible voters and possibly discriminate against certain groups of people whose voting rights are protected by the VRA.

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