“This bill would essentially federalize state and local election laws when there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that those states or localities engaged in any discriminatory behavior when it comes to voting,” said Collins, a Gainesville Republican.
U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., said “there is absolutely no evidence” of voting discrimination in states previously covered by the Voting Rights Act. AP PHOTO / ALEX BRANDON
The AJC’s analysis shows how changes in voting locations have disproportionate impacts on voters of different races.
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, the bill’s sponsor, said voters need the full force of the Voting Rights Act to stop race-based inequities.
“We still have a very serious problem of voter discrimination and voter suppression all across this nation,” said Sewell, a Democrat from Alabama. “Congress needs to speak up for those who are voiceless. And restoring the vote is about restoring the voices of those who have been excluded.”
That legislation cleared the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives along a mostly party-line vote, 228-187, on Dec. 6. The bill is expected to face stiff opposition in the Republican-led Senate, where its critics resist restoration of federal supervision of state election laws.