The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Voting Rights Act
The Voting Rights Act (VRA) bans racial discrimination in voting practices by the federal government as well as by state and local governments.
Passed in 1965 after a century of deliberate and violent denial of the vote to African-Americans in the South and Latinos in the Southwest – as well as many years of entrenched electoral systems that shut out citizens with limited fluency in English – the VRA is often held up as the most effective civil rights law ever enacted. It is widely regarded as enabling the enfranchisement of millions of minority voters and diversifying the electorate and legislative bodies at all levels of American government.
Congress has reauthorized the VRA five times, most recently in 2006, when both the House and the Senate approved the measure overwhelmingly in a bipartisan manner. Congress conducted over 20 hearings, heard from over 50 expert witnesses, and collected over 17,000 pages of testimony documenting the continued need for and constitutionality of the statute.
The 2006 reauthorization renewed several key protections, providing for language assistance, Election Day monitors, and Justice Department pre-approval of voting changes. The protections are currently set to expire in 2031.
About the Voting Rights Act
- Text of the Voting Rights Act - Ourdocuments.gov
- History of the Voting Rights Act
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Myths & Facts about Section 5 of the VRA
- Myths & Facts about Section 203 of the VRA
- Map of States Subject to Sections 5 and 203
- En Espanol: La ley del derecho al voto
Effects of the Voting Rights Act
- Real Stories of the Impact of the VRA
- Video Testimonials
- Reports on Voting Rights in the States
- Why You Should Care About the VRA
Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder
In June 2009, the Supreme Court ruled in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder that all individual jurisdictions should have the opportunity to bail out of a provision in the Voting Rights Act that requires federal preclearance for changes in election procedures. However, the Court did not rule on the constitutionality of the provision itself. The Leadership Conference and The Education filed an Amicus Curiae Brief in the U.S. Supreme Court for this case.
Renew the VRA Campaign (2006)
In July 2006, Congress passed and President Bush signed a bill renewing for 25 years the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Leadership Conference led the legislative campaign to renew and reauthorize expiring protections in the VRA.
In the days leading up to the vote, more than 100,000 reauthorization petitions were collected and 15,000 calls for renewal were made to Congressional offices from voters in all 50 states. The coalition activated and trained thousands of community leaders who held voting rights activities in nearly 30 states - educating and energizing thousands of voters about the importance of the law in the months leading up to the vote.
- Background on the 2006 Reauthorization
- Sections of the VRA That Require Reauthorization
- Renew the VRA Campaign
- About the Voting Rights Act Collaborative
- Summary of the Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006
- Statements from Civil Rights Leaders on the Importance of Reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act
- National Conference on the Voting Rights Act