Come Together to Inspire, Interact, Influence, and Impact.

Log Out? Are you sure you want to log out?
Log Out
IWN Staff
May 30, 2023 - 2 minutes
facebook linkedin twitter telegram telegram

In 60 Seconds: Voting Rights

*PDF Download: In 60 Seconds – Voting Rights

Every American should have the right to vote without fear of discrimination, and the federal government has an important role to play in enforcing those privileges.

However, federal attempts to protect voter’s rights actually takes the power away from local governments and citizens.

Here’s the issue of Voting Rights in 60 seconds:

General Principles

Voting rights are protected by the U.S. Constitution and by federal statute

  • The 15th Amendment prohibits the denial or abridgement of the right to vote “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude”
  • The Voting Rights Act prohibits discriminatory voting practices and provides strong federal enforcement mechanisms.

Under the U.S. Constitution, American elections are decentralized

  • As a matter of constitutional design, our elections are state-by-state contests that are administered locally.
  • This system provides important checks against corruption and fraud.

Only in extreme circumstances can the federal government intrude on local control of elections

  • The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a unique exception to our decentralized voting system, made necessary by widespread, deliberate disfranchisement of blacks in the Jim Crow South.

The Voting Rights Act (VRA)

The Voting Rights Act of 1965

  • was passed to give blacks access to the ballot, which had been unconstitutionally denied them in parts of the country;
  • empowered the federal government to enforce voting rights nationwide;
  • and gave the feds temporary power to oversee voting changes in jurisdictions with a history of racist election practices.

Specific provisions

  • Section 2 permanently outlaws voting procedures that deny or abridge the vote on account of race or color;
  • Section 5 temporarily requires certain jurisdictions to get federal approval (“pre-clearance”) before making electoral changes;
  • Section 4 establishes criteria for determining which jurisdictions must seek Section 5 pre-clearance.

The way forward

  • The federal government has an important role to play in enforcing voting rights nationwide, but it should not micromanage local election procedures in jurisdictions with no recent history of voting discrimination.

Addressing Misperceptions

IWN Staff
Back to Resource Center

More from IWN Staff

Share This IWF Releases New Mini-Documentary Series: Cruel & Unusual Punishment

Incarcerated Women Need and Deserve Female-Only Spaces As more states allow biological…

IWN Staff February 22, 2024
Share This WATCH NOW: Meaghan Mobbs Explains America’s Border Crisis

America is experiencing a border crisis, not only on the southern border, but…

IWN Staff February 15, 2024
IWN Live IWN LIVE: Behind-the-Scenes of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae Lawsuit

Tuesday, February 13 | 1:00 p.m. ET on YouTube BREAKING:  Women have…

IWN Staff February 8, 2024
Share This WATCH NOW: Meaghan Mobbs explains the death of 3 U.S. service members 

The Biden administration’s failed Iran policy and subsequent weak response in the…

IWN Staff February 2, 2024
Resource Center Survivor Alerts Parents: Trafficking Can Happen While Your Child is Still Living at Home

Sheri Lopez is the founder of the nonprofit Pearl at the Mailbox and a…

IWN Staff January 30, 2024

Related Posts by IWN

How to Write a Letter to the Editor (LTE)

It's the perfect time for placing a Letter to the Editor in…

IWN Staff August 16, 2023
Template Letter: Refusal to Sign Code of Conduct Email

This email is to inform you that we will not be signing…

IWN Staff August 11, 2023
In 60 Seconds: AB5

*PDF Download: In 60 Seconds – AB5 Today, 1 in 5 jobs in…

IWN Staff June 2, 2023
In 60 Seconds: Price Transparency

*PDF Download: In 60 Seconds – Price Transparency Healthcare price transparency is…

IWN Staff June 2, 2023
In 60 Seconds: Earned Leave For New Parents

*PDF Download: In 60 Seconds – Earned Leave for New Parents We…

IWN Staff June 2, 2023