A year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a part the Voting Rights Act, freeing Georgia from having to seek federal approval for election changes. A new report on minority voting rights, however, finds African American, Latino and Asian voters still face significant discrimination at the polls in Georgia and other Southern states.
After eight years leading the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, Edward DuBose says inequality in the state’s criminal justice system is the most significant issue greeting his successor. DuBose said the organization’s next president also must ensure access to the polls now that the Supreme Court has struck down part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Georgia is challenging the constitutionality of a clause in the 1965 federal Voting Rights Act. The challenge is part of a lawsuit filed last week that seeks approval for Georgia’s new redistricting maps.
Republican lawmakers drew redistricting maps this summer that solidify their majority in the state legislature. But Georgia’s changing demographics won’t guarantee that majority forever. If Republicans want to stay in power, they’ll have to woo Blacks, Asians and Latinos. Those are groups that haven’t voted in large numbers for the state’s GOP.
The state Senate passed new congressional district maps Wednesday, the last major event of this year’s special legislative session. Gov. Nathan Deal will sign off on them and then submit them to the federal government for approval.