Ten years ago, SCOTUS’s Shelby County ruling effectively opened the floodgates to voting discrimination with an intensity that has continued to this day. Racial discrimination in voting in persistent and pervasive.
Since SCOTUS gutted the Voting Rights Act, states and locations have reverted to discriminatory practices that restrict the freedom to vote for voters of color, Native voters, voters with disabilities and more. The freedom to vote is inextricably connected to our ability to beat back regressive policies like those targeting abortion access and LGBTQ rights. Voting rights protect ALL other rights. More than 10 years after Shelby County, we fight on to protect and exercise the vote.
While we continue to see relentless discriminatory practices to restrict the vote, the civil rights community will not stop fighting until the Voting Right Act is restored. Voting rights are fundamental because they secure all other rights. It remains a core priority of the civil rights communities; for the federal lawmakers to meet this moment and to pass legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act and safeguard our elections.
As we enter out 10th year without the Voting Right Act full protections, and as the big lie fuels anti-voting laws, we must continue to call on our elected officials and leaders to protect and strengthen our right and freedom to vote.
Valari Taylor
Rio Rancho