June 25, 2013

By Rebecca Morin, Intern

In a 5-4 decision The Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  It means states and municipalities with a history of racial discrimination  do not have to ask the federal government for permission to change voting procedure.  It applied to nine states and parts of six others, mostly in the South.

Here's what some of TTC's panelists have to say about the decision.

“Anyone who stood in line for five, ten, fifteen hours or more over the course of the last election knows that Voting Rights are not equally accessible,” said Avis Jones-DeWeever, President and CEO of Incite Unlimited, LLC. “Those who fought back in the Courts against clearly discriminatory voter ID laws, know that voting rights are not free and unfettered for all.”

Charlotte Hays, Director of Cultural Programs at the Independent Women's Forum:

“The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was necessary and important when it was passed. But its time is up and to hold onto it is to refuse to recognize the enormous changes in the south,” she said. “The purpose of requiring voter IDs it to protect the ballot box--that was the purpose also of the Voting Rights Act. So it's come full circle and we should rejoice that it served its purpose and is no longer needed.”

“Once again the Supreme Court has dealt a severe blow to the voters of this country,” Judge Debra Carnahan said. “They continue to be consistent in helping to silence the voices and influence of everyday Americans and minorities as evidenced by Gore v Bush and Citizens United and now the Voting Rights Act.”