Obama Must Restore Voting Rights Act Section 5 to End Voter Suppression

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The US government must reinstitute the fifth section of the Voting Rights Act to end widespread voter suppression, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) Democracy Program Director Jerry Vattamala told Sputnik on Thursday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Voters Rights Act was passed in 1965 as part of former President Lyndon Johnson’s package of proposals to end segregation and exclusion of minorities in the US political process.

“One thing is… there needs to be Section 5 [of the Voting Rights Act] in certain jurisdictions. It required certain jurisdictions to be preapproved and preceded by the US Department of Justice for formerly racist counties.”

However, on February 27, 2013, the Supreme Court struck down Section 5 of the Voters Rights Act as unconstitutional.

Since then, election statutes designed to prevent minorities from voting have proliferated dramatically in state legislatures across the United States, US legal rights group the Campaign Legal Center said on Wednesday.

“The [Supreme Court]… decision was a huge hit… and united legislatures across the country to take us back before 1964 and 1965. Congress needs to pass a new coverage formula for areas with a history of discrimination.”

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund is a national organization focused on the protection and promotion of the civil rights of Asian Americans, according to the organization’s website.

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