When the Voting Rights Act passed on August 6th, 1965 it brought an end to literacy tests, poll taxes and other measures which were used to prevent people of color and the poor from participating in our democracy. It was a major step towards the American ideal of free, fair and accessible elections, and the end of voter discrimination based on race.
Or so we thought. Fast forward to today: Restrictive voter ID laws; purging the voter rolls; limited or no early voting; end of same-day voter registration; closing polling places; shorter polling hours; gerrymandering…
Since the 2013 US Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County v. Holder it’s been easier for state and local governments to put these policies into place, and across the country they have. The goal? To disenfranchise voters, especially young people and people of color – groups who question the current powers-that-be and threaten the establishment.
WV Citizens for Clean Elections coalition held a press conference on Tuesday, Aug. 6 to mark the VRA anniversary, bring awareness to the erosion of voting rights, and demand change.
Here are some ways you can support this, and help be an agent of change:
- Register to vote and CHECK YOUR REGISTRATION here: https://sos.wv.gov/elections/Pages/VoterRegistration.aspx
- Vote on May 12, 2020: State Supreme Court elections and primary election day
- Vote on Nov. 3, 2020: general election for Governor, US President, many statewide offices
Find out more about clean elections and the VRA at: https://wvoter-owned.org/ and https://www.brennancenter.org/issues/the-voting-rights-act