On the 52nd anniversary of the “Voting Rights Act,” Amplifier launched a series of art highlighting the need to renew and strengthen this essential protection against discrimination in voter registration and access.
On the 52nd Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act…
For the 52nd anniversary of the “Voting Rights Act”, Amplifier worked with non-profit Rock the Vote and artist Ashley Lukashevsky to highlight voices that these policies threaten to silence. “Voting is supposed to be the one foundational political act that all Americans have equal access to,” says Lukashevsky, “to take that away is deeply wrong and reveals so much about our broken political system.” The series highlights the need to renew and strengthen this essential protection against discrimination in voter registration and access. The Voting Rights Act was intended to guarantee the elimination of racial discrimination in voting, however in 2013 the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder removed the preclearance clause, allowing for jurisdictions with a history of passing discriminatory voting laws to no longer be subject to oversight when passing voting laws that impact minority voters. That means that regions with a history of racial discrimination no longer have a federal oversight for their voting process. The 2016 presidential election marked the first time in 50 years without the protection of the preclearance clause. Therefore this election cycle was marked not by record breaking turnout but by first time voter suppression laws in 15 states. The number of states with newly proposed voter restrictions is up to 31 as of 2017. These increasingly rigid laws and ever-shifting rules are making it particularly difficult for people of color, women, and new generations of voters to take part in our democracy.
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