voting rights act http://kut.org en Report: 'Lackadaisical' Texas Leadership Does Nothing to Encourage Voting http://kut.org/post/report-lackadaisical-texas-leadership-does-nothing-encourage-voting <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Texas' new voter ID &nbsp;laws can be used to discourage minorities and women from voting.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">That's according to the</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> nonprofit Texas Civil Rights Project. Today, it released a </span><a href="http://www.texascivilrightsproject.org/tcrp-human-rights-reports/" style="line-height: 1.5;">63-page report</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> criticizing the states' voter registration procedures, and a lack of voting registration opportunities.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Last June, the United States Supreme Court </span><a href="http://kut.org/post/voting-rights-act-partially-overturned-texas-implements-voter-id-law" style="line-height: 1.5;">overturned a portion of the Voting Rights Act</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. The act was originally intended to protect voters from discrimination in voting matters, but the Supreme Court ruled that the application of the act, covering large parts of the South,&nbsp;was outdated.</span></p><p>After the Supreme Court’s ruling, Texas instituted a voter identification law. The law requires registered voters to present a valid form of identification to vote. The Texas Civil Rights Project would like to see the voter ID law overturned, because they say it can be used to deter minority populations from voting.&nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 16 Dec 2013 22:37:47 +0000 Roy Varney 9384 at http://kut.org Report: 'Lackadaisical' Texas Leadership Does Nothing to Encourage Voting Voting Rights Act Partially Overturned; Texas Implements Voter ID Law http://kut.org/post/voting-rights-act-partially-overturned-texas-implements-voter-id-law <p>The Supreme Court has overturned a portion of the Voting Rights Act. Texas Attorney General&nbsp;Greg&nbsp;Abbott says this morning’s decision means a Texas voter ID law "will take effect immediately."&nbsp;<em>Scroll down for updates.&nbsp;</em></p><p class="p1">The high court struck down <a href="http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/misc/sec_4.php">Section 4</a> of the act, which establishes a formula to identify portions of the county (primarily the South) where changes to elections must be approved by the Department of Justice. That was to ensure minority voting rights weren’t infringed upon.</p><p class="p1">From the court's opinion:</p><blockquote><p class="p1">"Coverage today is based on decades-old data and eradicated practices. The formula captures States by reference to literacy tests and low voter registration and turnout in the 1960s and early 1970s. But such tests have been banned for over 40 years. And voter registration and turnout numbers in covered States have risen dramatically."</p></blockquote><p class="p1">The court didn’t do away with Section 5 of the act – the portion that allows the Department of Justice to reject state laws it sees as discriminatory. Instead, the court says the new standards should be created, instead of the expanded coverage called for under Section 4. &nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 25 Jun 2013 22:39:12 +0000 Luke Quinton, Wells Dunbar & Kate McGee 8218 at http://kut.org Voting Rights Act Partially Overturned; Texas Implements Voter ID Law Bill Would Change Rules for Non-English Mail-In Ballots http://kut.org/post/bill-would-change-rules-non-english-mail-ballots <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Lawmakers are looking at a bill today that would change the requirements for mail-in ballots in Harris County. The county would no longer need to send out ballots in a language other than English, unless it’s requested by the voter.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Harris County clerk says it costs a lot to print and send mail-in ballots to eligible voters. That’s because the county must print ballots in four languages: English, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese.</span></p> Mon, 18 Mar 2013 17:23:45 +0000 Veronica Zaragovia 6985 at http://kut.org Bill Would Change Rules for Non-English Mail-In Ballots Supreme Court Weighs Future Of Voting Rights Act http://kut.org/post/supreme-court-weighs-future-voting-rights-act Once again, race is front and center at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. And once again, the bull's eye is the 1965 Voting Rights Act, widely viewed as the most effective and successful civil rights legislation in American history. Upheld five times by the court, the law now appears to be on life support.<p>The provision at issue in Wednesday's case applies only to specific parts of the country where discriminatory voting procedures were once rampant. It covers all of nine states, mainly in the South, plus parts of seven other states. Wed, 27 Feb 2013 16:27:37 +0000 Nina Totenberg, NPR 6765 at http://kut.org Supreme Court Weighs Future Of Voting Rights Act Has The U.S. Outgrown The Voting Rights Act? http://kut.org/post/has-us-outgrown-voting-rights-act The nation has twice elected an African-American president.<p>Black voters have been turning out for general elections in rates that for the first time in U.S. history <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/12/26/the-growing-electoral-clout-of-blacks-is-driven-by-turnout-not-demographics/" target="_blank">rival those of whites</a>.<p>And the number of black elected officials in the U.S. Tue, 26 Feb 2013 23:12:53 +0000 Liz Halloran, NPR 6754 at http://kut.org Has The U.S. Outgrown The Voting Rights Act? Texas Minority Lawmakers: Keep Voting Rights Act http://kut.org/post/texas-minority-lawmakers-keep-voting-rights-act <p></p><p>Representatives from minority groups are asking Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to stop fighting&nbsp;<a href="http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/sec_5/about.php">Section Five of the Voting Rights Act.</a></p><p>This Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/02/25/172603328/alabama-divided-as-court-prepares-to-hear-voting-rights-challenge">hear oral arguments</a>&nbsp;on the<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelby_County_v._Holder">&nbsp;Shelby County v. Holder case</a>, which challenges Section Five of the Voting Rights Act. That's the part of the act that requires federal approval of any changes to voting requirements.</p><p>While the Shelby County v. Holder case originated in Alabama, Texas State Representative Trey Martinez Fisher said this case resembles Texas cases that might be heard by the Supreme Court. Abbott's appeal of a decision that deeming Texas’ new redistricting maps discriminatory also challenges Section Five.</p><p> Tue, 26 Feb 2013 00:45:02 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 6738 at http://kut.org Texas Minority Lawmakers: Keep Voting Rights Act