Fix the Voting Rights Act
This petition had 11,971 supporters
I’m an American citizen, I’m over 18, I’m a college student in Texas, and I registered to vote in time for the primary. But when I tried to vote in Texas this year, I was turned away from the polls.
I showed them my student ID from Trinity University in Texas and my driver’s license from Virginia (where I grew up and where my parents still live) but they would not accept them.
I’m not alone. A federal judge has estimated that unless Congress acts, this law will block as many as 600,000 people from voting in the state. The law disproportionately impacts students like me, people of color, the elderly, and poor people.
Texas is not the only state where people will have trouble voting this November—it’s one of 17 states that will have voter restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election.
Why are there so many new restrictions? In 2013, a deeply divided Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), essentially gutting the heart of the legislation. The VRA’s passage in 1965 ensured that millions of Americans—no matter their race, ethnicity, or language ability—could vote and participate in the democratic process.
In fact, in 2011, the federal government blocked Texas’s voter ID law, finding that it was discriminatory under the VRA. However, within hours of the 2013 Supreme Court decision, Texas put its voter ID law back in place. Learn more.
Unless Congress acts, this will be the first presidential election in more than 50 years without a fully functioning Voting Rights Act.
In its decision striking down a key part of the VRA, the Supreme Court explicitly said that Congress could take action to fix it. Now, there is a bipartisan bill pending in Congress that would fix the VRA and help ensure that all Americans can cast a vote. The bill, however, has not been brought to the floor for a vote.
Join me in telling Representative Goodlatte, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee and is holding up that bill, that Congress needs to act on the Voting Rights Advancement Act. We all deserve to have a say in this November’s Election.
Today: Finlay McCracken with ADL is counting on you
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