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Letter: Court case could threaten U.S. voting rights

Published: February 13, 2013 12:00 AM

The League of

Women Voters is happy to celebrate our 93rd anniversary. Since our founding in 1920, the League has worked tirelessly to protect and uphold the constitutional right to vote, a right that composes the very foundation of our democracy.

However, while we celebrate our successes, we're concerned by challenges to our democracy. In the upcoming Supreme Court case Shelby County, Ala. v. Holder, the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 will be reviewed. The VRA is landmark legislation that ensures every American citizen, regardless of race, has an equal right to vote. Should the Court rule against the VRA, which prevents states from passing discriminatory voting rules, the right to vote for millions of Americans would be at risk.

The thought that the Supreme Court might overturn the VRA and limit voting rights should send a chill down the spine of every American. The League believes we should be expanding voting rights, not curtailing them, and is working to make elections free, fair and accessible to all eligible citizens.

The League has been committed to protecting voter rights since 1920, and we're not stopping now. With this new challenge, even 93 years after our founding, our work is needed more than ever.

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LWV of Northern Portage County is one of nearly 800 Leagues in all 50 states that work to protect voters' rights. We all are working to educate and inform voters by respecting all points of view and never supporting or opposing candidates for office or political parties. This is what sets us apart from many organizations, and it is why we welcome new volunteers to take part in our work here in Aurora.

Membership is open to men and women of all ages. For more information, visit www.LWVOhio.org.

Pat Fitzgerald, Aurora

President of the LWVNPC

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anonymous Feb 13, 2013 8:31 AM

Here's why Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is bad policy, outdated, unconstitutional, and ought to be struck down by the Supreme Court: http://www.pacificlegal.org/opeds/Overturn-unconstitutional-Voting-Rights-Act

Whats especially ironic is that the principal use to which Section 5 is put today is forcing jurisdictions to create and maintain racially segregated and gerrymandered voting districts which is completely at odds with the original ideals of the Civil Rights Movement.

There are other federal laws available to protect the rights of voters, and they don't raise the problems that Section 5 does.