Statement from Jana Morgan, Director of the Declaration for American Democracy – a coalition of over 160 organizations from the labor, racial justice, faith, women’s rights, environmental, good government, and many other important communities – marking seven years since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act:
“Today marks seven years since the U.S. Supreme Court’s detrimental 5-4 ruling in Shelby County V. Holder, which gutted the Voting Rights Act. In the decision, the court severely weakened the federal government’s ability to oversee and correct discriminatory voting practices and laws across the United States.
As a result of this dangerous decision, states have passed laws that have suppressed the vote of millions of Americans, especially people of color, as well as voters with disabilities, the elderly, low-income families and other marginalized groups. These laws, combined with the additional voting barriers set up during the pandemic – such as vote-by-mail restrictions and reduced polling locations – have the potential to disenfranchise millions more.
The 2016 presidential election was the first in 50 years without full Voting Rights Act protections in place. We can’t afford another. That’s why the Senate must act now to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act (S 561), which the House passed in December 2019, to undo the damage of Shelby County v. Holder, and approve the $3.6 billion in emergency election funding and reforms in the HEROES Act to safeguard our 2020 elections and ensure everyone can vote.”