The right to vote is the foundation of our democracy. For more than 40 years, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) has helped to prevent voter discrimination affecting racial and ethnic minorities in the United States.
Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act protects voters by requiring covered states and localities to get preapproval of their voting changes from the U.S. Department of Justice or a federal court in D.C. to insure that the changes aren’t discriminatory. Shelby County, Alabama, is challenging Congress’s authority to reauthorize the Act in 2006.
Voter discrimination based on race is not just a thing of the past – it is a current reality that persists today! Section 5 of the VRA protected the right to vote for hundreds of thousands of minority voters in the 2012 election in Texas, Florida, and South Carolina.