Clark Co-Sponsors Voting Rights Amendment 50 Years After Landmark Civil Rights Bill 

Washington, D.C. – This week, on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Congresswoman Katherine Clark urged Congress to pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act. Rep. Clark has co-sponsored the legislation in response to the 2013 Shelby County v Holder Supreme Court decision that gutted key anti-discriminatory provisions of the Voting Rights Act (VRA).

“Voting is the most basic right and responsibility afforded American citizens, and efforts to restrict this right threaten the foundation of our democracy,” said Clark. “It seems every election brings disturbing new reports of voter discrimination along with efforts to disenfranchise voters. Fifty years after the Civil Rights Act, it’s time for Congress to renew one of its most basic tenets – the right to vote. I urge Speaker Boehner to bring the Voting Rights Amendment Act to the House floor for a vote.”

A 2013 study by the Leadership Conference on Voting Rights said, “Between 2000 and June 2013, there were 148 Section 5 objections or other Voting Rights Act violations recorded across 29 states.” 

The Voting Rights Amendment Act updates VRA’s formula for determining which states are subject to federal oversight of changes to state election law. This modern preclearance formula is designed to reestablish the applicability of the voting right safeguards the Supreme Court struck down.