HRC Alabama Prepares for National Voter Registration Day

HRC staff

By HRC Alabama Field Organizer Tori Wolfe-Sisson

The general election in November will be the first presidential election since the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holderwhich invalidated a key provision in the Voting Rights Act (VRA).

HRC’s Legal Director Sarah Warbelow explained:

“The VRA has been hailed as one of the most important pieces of American legislation – a true Congressional landmark. Banning racial discrimination in voting, it ensured that state and municipal governments were prohibited from passing legislation that would deny Americans the equal right to vote regardless of their race. Since its initial passage, Congress has amended the VRA 5 times to expand its protections. However, on June 23, 2013 the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Section 4(b) of the VRA was unconstitutional.

Section 4(b) of the VRA contained the coverage formula which was the basis for determining which jurisdictions were subject to a federal court review of any changes to state voting laws, known as preclearance, as required by Section 5 of the VRA. While the Court did not touch Section 5, removing the formula within Section 4(b) effectively allowed states and local governments to bypass federal preclearance before implementing any changes to their voting rights laws or practices.”

Understanding that the voting rights landscape has changed in Alabama, HRC Alabama, AIDS Alabama and the ACLU of Alabama are holding several voter registration activist trainings in major cities across the state. Additionally, we are connecting our Equality Is Our Business signers with activists who will register voters at the business locations. This information will be available online and trainings will be streamed live using Facebook.

These efforts are in conjunction with National Voter Registration Day, which will occur this year on September 27. Our goal is to see location pins dropped all over the state of Alabama with activists working to register voters. The last day to register to vote in Alabama is October 24. HRC Alabama would like to register our LGBTQ friends and allies and let them know their rights as they register and at the polls. 

To learn more, please contact Tori Wolfe-Sisson at tori.wolfe-sisson@hrc.org.


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