WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – With Super Tuesday right around the corner, Congress is analyzing the barriers minority voters could face at the polls.
“Black voters and many non-black voters are at a worse place now than when the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965,” said Diane Nash, a civil rights icon who played a major role in getting Congress to pass the law.
After risking her life to defend black voting rights, Nash says she was back before lawmakers to ensure every vote counts.
“One person. One vote. If we don’t have that, I think we as a republic are in serious trouble,” she said.
The United States Supreme Court threw out key provisions of the Votings Rights Act in 2013. The decision said removing requirements that 15 states get federal permission before changing their voting laws wouldn’t hurt minorities. But Democrats want to restore the requirements, arguing that states are suppressing minority votes.
“My friends on the other side of the aisle, this is the only type of government red tape that they really love – is when it hampers voting,” Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) said.
Cooper says state laws passed after the Supreme Court’s ruling make it more difficult for minorities to cast ballots. But Republicans argue mass voter suppression isn’t happening. Instead, they say the real concern should be preventing voter fraud.
“We must ensure that every eligible citizen’s vote is counted and that votes are not stolen or diluted,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said.
Jordan says voting should remain a state and local responsibility.
But as the 2020 election season ramps up, others are calling on Congress to provide federal protection.