The right to vote gives Asian Americans an opportunity to be heard:
Help Prevent Discrimination in Voting
We are circulating a state sign-on letter addressed to Ohio’s U.S. Representatives calling for support of the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (VRAA), which was introduced in both the House and the Senate on January 16, 2014. This bill is essential to protecting the voting rights of racial, ethnic and language minorities across the country.
The VRAA will update the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) with modern voting discrimination protections. This bill is in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which struck down the formula which determined which states, towns, and counties were required to get preapproval for voting changes under Section 5 of the VRA. These jurisdictions had a history of voter discrimination, and in requiring preapproval, Section 5 was designed to stop voter discrimination before it occurred.
The letter (text below) asks Ohio’s U.S. Representatives to urge members of the House Judiciary Committee and its Chair Representative Goodlatte (VA-6) to move the bill forward by scheduling a hearing as soon as possible, an important first step in the legislative process.
Please sign your organization onto the letter by THU, APRIL 17 at 5 PM ET.
Advancing Justice | AAJC is also hosting a webinar about the Shelby decision and the proposed legislation next Tuesday, April 15 at 4 -5 PM Eastern. To register for the webinar CLICK HERE.
We are writing to you as leaders of Ohio’s Asian American and Pacific Islander community. We are pleased to acknowledge the progress made on January 16, 2014, when members of Congress introduced a bipartisan bill amending the Voting Rights Act (VRA) to ensure a modern, flexible and forward-looking set of protections that address the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder.
That Supreme Court decision suspended the use of the most effective tool that Americans had against racial discrimination in voting. And that’s why it is so important that Congress act, and they act quickly.
We are seeking your help in asking the Judiciary Committee and its Chair Bob Goodlatte to move the bill forward and schedule a hearing on this important piece of legislation.
We applaud Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner, R. Wisc., John Conyers, D. Mich., Steve Chabot, R. Ohio, John Lewis, D. Ga., Spencer Bachus, R. Ala., Bobby Scott, D. Va., Sean P. Duffy, R. Wisc., Rep. Hoyer, Steny H. Hoyer, D. Md., and Sheila Jackson Lee, D. Texas., and Senator Patrick Leahy, for getting the process started with the introduction of the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (H.R. 3899/S. 1945). As you likely know, this legislation is the first step in restoring the VRA by doing the following:
• enhancing the power of federal courts to stop discriminatory voting changes from being implemented and to order a preclearance remedy when needed
• providing a flexible coverage formula that is updated annually to require preclearance for all changes in places with numerous recent voting rights violations
• creating new nationwide transparency requirements that help keep communities informed about voting changes in their community and
• continuing the federal observer program, which is critical to combating racial discrimination at the polls.
We need strong, fair laws that protect voters from disenfranchisement. Before the Shelby decision, the VRA helped prevent discrimination voting based on race. Unfortunately, discrimination in voting is not a thing of the past and this bill will create modernized tools to ensure every American, regardless of race, color or English language proficiency, is able to exercise their right to vote.
We urge you to support this bipartisan legislation. Please urge the Judiciary Committee to move forward on its consideration of the bill by scheduling a hearing.
[List of Organizations]