Election 2016

16 States Face New Voting Restrictions in First Election in 50 Years Without Full Voting Rights Act

As 12 states head to the polls on Super Tuesday, voting rights could become a pivotal issue in the 2016 race.

Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey/Creative Commons

On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act, which has been under attack ever since. In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down crucial components of the act in a case called Shelby County v. Holder, when it ruled that states with histories of voting-related racial discrimination no longer had to "pre-clear" changes to their voting laws with the federal government. Immediately following the Shelby ruling, several states passed laws that made it harder for people to vote. The 2016 race is the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act. "Sixteen states have new voting restrictions in place," notes Ari Berman, who covers voting rights for The Nation. His recent piece is "63,756 Reasons Racism is Still Alive in South Carolina." His book is titled "Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America."

Watch the full segment below: 

Ari Berman is a contributing writer for The Nation, covering national politics and the 2008 election, and an Investigative Journalism Fellow at The Nation Institute.
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