Online Voter Tools Fill the VRA Void


Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision ruling one part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 unconstitutional spurred plenty of social media chatter.  Those wringing their hands may not need to worry so much.  The advent of online tools - such as those that help citizens register to vote and find their polling places - do more to help expand the franchise in the 21st century:

“Advocates for online registration argued that it would make the registration process more open and accessible to a broader range of voters. Our analysis suggests this reform was successful in that regard,” wrote Lisa García Bedolla and Verónica N. Vélez of the Berkeley Center for Latino Policy Research, who found that California’s pilot in online voter registration had the greatest participation, per population, from Latinos.

Before Tuesday, the Act required certain states and localities to check in with Washington before drawing voting district lines and siting polling places.  That type of pre-emptive review may have made sense in the 1960s, when voting information was harder to come by.  Today, a simple Google search makes it awfully tough for some party boss who doesn’t take kindly to one group or another to hide a voting booth.

The ruling left it up to Congress to replace Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, and when they do it’s worth remembering that we have nearly 50 more years of technology under our belt than when the original law was passed.

(Via TechCrunch)

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