Voting Rights Act Resolution

Whereas, the Voting Rights Act prevents the disenfranchisement of voters due to race, color or language and has protected the right to vote for millions of Americans;

Whereas, upon initial enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, millions of African American citizens were able to vote for the first time and the number of Americans serving in elected office increased from 1,500 in 1970 to over 10,000 in 2010;

Whereas, on several occasions since 1965 and as recently as 2006, the U.S. Congress has recognized the need for and taken appropriate action to amend, extend and strengthen the Voting Rights Act, including as recently as 2006;

Whereas, since 2011, 176 bills have been proposed in 42 states that would have the effect of restricting voter access to the polls, such as requirements for specific forms of government issued photo identification to register to vote or cast a ballot and these restrictive measures disproportionately affect minority, elderly, young and low income voters who lack photo identification in numbers significantly higher than other American citizens.

Whereas, in June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, referred to as the “coverage formula”, which determines the states that must pre-clear with the U.S. Department of Justice all changes in voting rules before they take effect.;

Whereas, the U.S. Congress has the authority to enact a new coverage formula and other measures to strengthen the Voting Rights Act;

Whereas, voting is the cornerstone of America’s Democracy and the single most important way to have a voice in governance and therefore access to voting should be free and fair to all citizens.;

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the National Policy Alliance calls upon the Congress to act immediately to restore a Voting Rights Act coverage formula; and

Therefore, Be It resolved, that the National Policy Alliance calls upon the Congress to enact any and all measures necessary to prevent actions by states stat have the effect of disenfranchising Americans whose right to vote is protected under the Voting Rights Act.

Presented by: Gracia M. Hillman, Hillman Associates

Motioned by: Denise Langford Morris, NBA Judicial Council

Seconded by: Darlene Young, BIG