Congress Traveling the Country to Hear Evidence of Voting Rights Violations
By the National Negro Council of Women, Special to the NNPA Newswire
Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Chair of the Elections Subcommittee of the Committee on House Administration, will hold listening sessions to hear from citizens about their recent voter registration and voting experiences. It is anticipated that any evidence of voter suppression or voter intimidation heard during the listening sessions will be used to support the revitalization of the Voting Rights Act. This evidence is required to establish that voter interference is an ongoing problem and not merely the practice of a bygone era. Efforts to strengthen the Voting Rights Act are expected to be strongly contested by opponents.
Some of the violations that have been reported include closed polling places, new limitations on voter registration and removal of names from voter lists. The Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder invalidated key provisions of the Voting Rights Act while acknowledging the persistence of voter discrimination. Following the Court’s decision, which, as a practical matter, eliminated preclearance requirements under the Voting Rights Act, hundreds of voting rights violations have been reported.
Congress has the power and responsibility to ensure that every American can exercise their franchise. Accordingly, the Committee on House Administration is hosting these sessions to further develop the contemporaneous record of ongoing voter discrimination, address the Supreme Court’s concerns about the data supporting Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, and work toward the full implementation of Section 5.
Listening sessions are scheduled for the following cities:
• April 16, 10:00 am — Yates, North Dakota, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council, Building #1, North Standing Rock Avenue, Fort Yates, ND 58538
• April 18, 10:00 am — Weldon, North Carolina, The Centre at Halifax Community College. 200 College Drive, Weldon, North Carolina 27890
• April 25, Cleveland, OH
• May 6, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
The listening sessions are open to the public and citizens are strongly urged to attend.