New Voting Rights Act Rewrite Would Revive Federal Oversight for Only 4 States | National Journal

Only 4 states: Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas would be required to earn DOJ approval of any changes to election law under the proposed Section 4 fix.

The Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 would revive the Justice Department’s oversight of election activities in certain states and would determine which states need to earn approval from the department for any change to election law, a process known as preclearance.

[T]he Supreme Court ruled in June that the formula determining which states had to go through the preclearance process—outlined in Section 4 of the law—was unconstitutional because it was based on criteria from the 1960s, a combination of which states used now-illegal literacy tests and which had low voter registration and turnout among minorities. The Justice Department could still have oversight of certain states, the Court ruled, but only if Congress passes a law with an updated formula to determine which states need that oversight.


Locally, that means the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan would be freed from DOJ pre-clearance review of changes to NYS election law and procedures.

I have long argued and advocated for releasing NYC from DOJ review under the Voting Rights Act Sections 4/5. The city and state are no longer bad actors when it comes to minority voting rights and voter participation.

New Yorkers and our congressional representatives should welcome and support the new [amended] Voting Rights Act of 2014 which updates the Section 4 coverage formula.


About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email FOMB08@GMAIL.COM.
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