by Abbie Kamin, Legal Research & Communications Associate for the Lone Star Project and Field Director for the Campaign Legal Center’s Voter ID Assistance Pilot Program in Harris County, TX.
Tuesday’s Election was a loss for voting rights throughout the country. While countless citizens could not vote because of the implementation of discriminatory voting laws, one can only hope these experiences in Tuesday’s election will galvanize the civil rights community to push even harder to breath life back into the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Until Congress amends the VRA, costly and time-consuming state-by-state litigation will be the key to protecting the right to vote.
Discriminatory voting laws have already been enacted in several states via highly restrictive voter photo-ID requirements. Because these restrictive laws are working, effectively preventing many citizens from voting, we will likely see an increase in these types of laws
We have seen first-hand here in Texas the enactment of suppressive voting measures by our state legislature, leading to separate court findings of intentional discrimination by the State on three different measures: congressional redistricting, state senate redistricting, and voter photo ID (SB 14). Texas has been at the forefront of recent efforts to discriminate against minority voters.