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
Thursday, October 20
The Voting Rights Act, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
The House Judiciary Commitee had its second oversight hearing on the Voting Rights Act today in Washington. According to this press release, today's witnesses were Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, legendary voting rights attorney Armand Derfner, former DOJ attorney Gerry Herbert, and LULAC's Jose Garza. As I mentioned here, the first hearing on the VRA was on Tuesday.

The A.P. reports that there may be a dozen or more hearings on whether to authorize key provisions of the VRA that expire in 2007. Laughlin McDonald of the ACLU Voting Rights Project comments that, while reauthorization is likely, the hearings provide a crucial opportunity to build the record that will be necessary if the reauthorized act is to be upheld against constitutional challenge.

Tomorrow, the University of South Carolina Law Review will be hosting a conference on the Voting Rights Act tomorrow, on The Promise of Voter Equality: Examining the Voting Rights Act at 40. See here for more information. Among the panelists are Laughlin McDonald, Loyola Law School's Rick Hasen, Debo Adegbile of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Grant Hayden of Hofstra. I'll be appearing on a panel regarding obstacles to minority voter participation with Fordham's Terry Smith, where I'll be talking about voter ID laws and other ongoing issues in the administration of elections.

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