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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act

Over the past 50 years there has evolved a History of Federal Voting Rights Laws in the United States of America beginning with The Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Within that legislation of 1965 was a temporary five-year provision contained in Section 5. Rather than allowing that provision to expire after the initial five years, Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act was renewed for another five years in 1970. That section was renewed again in 1975, but this time it was renewed for seven years. And when those seven years were up in 1982, it was renewed by the United States Congress for 25 years.

Then in 2006, Congress extended the requirements of Section 5 for an additional 25 years.

An interesting twist to Section 5 occurred as a result of a 2013 United States Supreme Court decision.

Here is an excerpt from The Voting Rights Act of 1965: Background and Overview, Kevin J. Coleman, Analyst in Elections, July 20, 2015 that effectively points out the twist:
The Voting Rights Act (VRA) was successfully challenged in a June 2013 case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder. The suit challenged the constitutionality of Sections 4 and 5 of the VRA, .... In its ruling, the Court struck down Section 4 as outdated and not “grounded in current conditions.” As a consequence, Section 5 is intact, but inoperable, unless or until Congress prescribes a new Section 4 formula.
If you click on the embedded link that follows, you may read the entire Background and Overview article.

What exactly is Section 5, you may ask. Well, to get the answer to that, I suggest you read ABOUT SECTION 5 OF THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT from the United States Department of Justice.

Given the plain, simple, truthful fact that the intention of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is to assure that various jurisdictions within the United States of America do not attempt to infringe on the right to vote of any person or group of persons, I see no reason why its intended purpose should not be made a permanent provision of the Voting Rights Act.

For a quick and easy read, I highly suggest that you go over to read Voting Rights Act Fast Facts from CNN.

Voting rights for all Americans regardless of race or color or whatever should be and must be guaranteed.

As my son, Adam Hansen, has stated, "No one has to renew an act to allow me to vote. It should be that way for all men and women."

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