Remembering Shelby v. Holder

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Seven years ago last week, the Supreme Court struck down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act — known as the preclearance requirement. This section had required states with a history of discriminatory practices to have any changes to voting laws cleared by the Justice Department.

Since then, at least 25 states have passed laws or changed election rules in ways that have made voting more difficult for communities of color and young people. In many southern states, at least 1,000 polling places have been closed. (read more)

FEC Closes Its Doors (Again): Few campaign finance reform advocates were fond of Trey Trainor joining the nation’s federal election watchdog agency, but his confirmation brought the FEC back to a quorum last month. Now, it appears that the agency is back to square one and effectively shut down, as Commissioner Caroline Hunter resigned from her post last week. She also took a not-so-subtle dig at one of her colleagues, former chairperson Ellen Weintraub.

“One Commissioner — who has served for more than a decade past the expiration of her term — routinely mischaracterizes disagreements among Commissioners about the law as ‘dysfunction,’ rather than a natural consequence of the FEC’s unique structure, misrepresents the jurisdiction of the agency and deliberately enables outside groups to usurp the Commission’s role in litigation and chill protected speech,” she wrote. (read more)

DC Statehood Is One Step Closer: House Democrats passed a bill for statehood by a 232–180 margin on Friday. The last time Congress attempted this was in 1978, when the bill failed by a couple dozen votes. Our nation’s capital, which is home to more than 700,000 residents, is now one step closer to having full congressional representation. (read more)

Vote-by-Mail Debate Reaches Fever Point: Thousands of New York voters say that they never received their mail-in ballot in time to vote absentee for the June 23 primary election. Some voters that we spoke with called their experience “challenging and scary.” (read more)

Vulnerable Voting Equipment Creates Chaos in Georgia: Election officials in the Peach State certified the June 9 primary election results despite serious concerns about how mail-in ballots were read and counted. Hundreds of races on absentee ballots were misread or discarded because of ‘X’ or check marks, despite Georgia law explicitly stating that voters can mark their ballots this way. (read more)

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