Dan Tokaji's Blog
Professor Dan Tokaji
Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities

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Equal Vote
Saturday, August 6
The Voting Rights Act at 40
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act 40 years ago today. The ACLU has launched this website on the VRA's expiring provisions. Among the many news articles from today's papers commemorating the Act's birthday are this one from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which addresses the current controversy over whether key provisions of the VRA should be reauthorized before they expire in 2007. Most notable among these is Section 5, which requires that certain jurisdictions -- including most Southern states -- obtain "preclearance" of any changes to their election procedures. The article discusses Georgia's currently pending request to have its new photo ID bill precleared, despite the fact that the bill would likely have a disparate impact on African American voters. Also worth a look is this story from the San Francisco Chronicle, which considers the impact of the VRA's language assistance provisions, also set to expire in 2007, and this one from Newhouse News on a possible strengthening amendment to reverse the holding of Georgia v. Ashcroft.

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