//SCOTUS Strikes Down Part Of VRA: Georgia’s Impact

SCOTUS Strikes Down Part Of VRA: Georgia’s Impact

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vote voting placeWashington, DC- By a 5-4 vote Tuesday, the Supreme Court struck down a provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that could end up impacting Georgia elections.

Section 4 of the VRA defined specific areas of the country that, if they wanted to make any changes in voting laws, had to get those changes cleared by the federal government or in federal court. Any part of the country that still made voters take a literacy test as of November 1, 1964 and had less than 50 percent turnout in the 1964 Presidential election.

The SCOTUS ruling comes less than a decade after the Senate reauthorized the Voting Rights Act by a 98-0 vote, extending it for 25 years.

In his bench statement, Roberts said that Congress had extended a 40-year-old coverage formula based on “obsolete statistics and that the coverage formula “violates the constitution.” Congress, the court ruled, “may draft another formula based on current conditions.”

Seeing as Georgia fit into both of these criteria, it stands to reason that until Congress drafts another formula, counties throughout the state may change precinct locations and voting rules without federal oversight.

Read more about the provisions of the VRA here, then read the SCOTUS brief here.