The Voting Rights Act was enacted in 1965 marking the beginning of the end of voter suppression and disenfranchisement of blacks and people of color in the U.S. However, in 2013 a key provision of the Voting Rights Act was struck down.

55 years later, what’s changed?

THEN

OBSTACLES TO BLACK VOTING BEFORE THE 1965 VOTING RIGHTS ACT

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NOW

AFTER A KEY PROVISION OF THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT WAS STRUCK DOWN IN 2013

Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act contained the formula that determines which states and jurisdictions needed federal approval of changes based on their histories of voting discrimination. Just hours after 4(b) repeal, several states with long histories of voter suppression once covered under the Act passed laws that removed provisions such as online voting registration, early voting, “Souls to the Polls” Sunday voting, same day registration, and pre-registration for teens about to turn 18. The ruling has also resulted in some states implementing voter identification laws and becoming more aggressive in expunging allegedly ineligible voters from registration rolls. States that have changed their voting policies since repeal include those previously required to undergo federal pre-clearance, as well as some that were not covered, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin and Texas.

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Deliberate, unfair and unjust state laws with evermore ingenious ways of disproportionally preventing people of color, the poor, the elderly, students and the disadvantaged from voting continue to proliferate in more than 30 states.