A group of black conservatives dubbed "Project 21" are taking issue with a key part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Their beef is with Section 5, which bars regions of the country with a history of discrimination from modifying voting procedures without federal approval. In short, they want to scrap it.
Project 21, which is affiliated with the free market-oriented National Center for Public Policy Research, said in a press statement
that "aggressive enforcement" of Section 5 has transformed it into a "tool for requiring racial classifications and race-based redistricting." They charge the Obama administration with an attempt to promote political power based on racial classification that is "outdated."
"We are in 2013, and the Voting Rights Act was something that came from a historical context," said
Project 21 co-founder Cherylyn Harley LeBon. "We need to update the law and this part of it is no longer needed."
But it's a move adamantly opposed by groups such as the League of Women Voters and the National Organization for the Advancement of Colored People, which believe the VRA should remain untouched.
"[The VRA] is responsible for much of the progress this country has achieved in terms of electoral equality, so changing it would have a tremendous impact," warned Myrna Perez of New York's Brennan Center for Justice. "There would be no backstop against localities that wanted to conduct discriminatory practices in voting."
Via the NCPPR and Business Insider