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Block The Vote: Restoring The Voting Rights Act

Martin Luther King and his wife Coretta Scott King lead a black voting rights march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital in Montgomery. Among those pictured is the late civil rights activist and Congressman John Lewis, who died earlier this year.
Martin Luther King and his wife Coretta Scott King lead a black voting rights march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital in Montgomery. Among those pictured is the late civil rights activist and Congressman John Lewis, who died earlier this year.

Voting is often touted as the pillar of American democracy. It’s a right that was hard-won for most Americans, and had to be defended and secured during the civil rights movement. That battle led to the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but it was far from the last fight to make voting more accessible.

In 2013, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidated a key provision of the law. It allowed states, including those with a history of voter disenfranchisement, to change voting laws without federal approval. Now, voting rights advocates say it’s led to a wave of new voter suppression laws and tactics.

U.S. Representative Terri Sewell of Alabama recently introduced the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, in honor of the late civil rights leader. The legislation would reinstate major provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

As part of our “Block the Vote  series, we’ll explore the legacy — and thefuture — of theVoting Rights Act.  

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