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PSN Statement on Supreme Court Decision Striking Down Part of Voting Rights Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
CONTACT: Charles Monaco, Director of Communications and New Media, Progressive States Network, cmonaco@progressivestates.org

PSN Statement on Supreme Court Decision Striking Down Part of Voting Rights Act

New York, NY -- State Senator Joe Bolkcom (Iowa), Chair of the Board of Progressive States Network, made the following comments today in reaction to the 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965:

"Today’s outrageous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a significant setback for the voting rights of all Americans which will have immediate consequences for many states.

The Voting Rights Act has long been one of the most effective tools our nation has had to fight voter suppression efforts and discriminatory laws. As we’ve seen in statehouses across the nation over the past few years, the wave of voter suppression bills is unlikely to subside anytime soon. In 2013 alone, scores of bills to restrict voting have been introduced in over 30 state legislatures, including many in states covered by the section of the Voting Rights Act that has just been struck down.

Congress, which reauthorized the Voting Rights Act by an almost unanimous vote in 2006, must now act urgently to update the coverage formula struck down by the Court. Meanwhile, state lawmakers across the nation must also do all within our power to expose and defeat partisan efforts to make it harder to vote, while continuing the momentum we have recently seen in the states behind measures that expand and strengthen voting rights."

 

Resources:

Progressive States Network — PSN 2013 Election Reform Roundup: Wins and Losses in the Fight for Democracy

Progressive States Network — Map: Why We Still Need the Voting Rights Act

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Progressive States Network is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to engaging and building the capacity of state and national leaders to advance public policy solutions that uphold America’s promise to be a just and equitable democracy. For more information visit progressivestates.org.

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