The recent Supreme Court decision to eliminate a key provision of the Voting Rights act of 1964 reminds us there is still work to do to protect every citizens right to vote. For nearly 50 years, The Voting Rights Act has helped protect the right to vote for millions of Americans, however, today’s landmark decision, challenges practices implemented to ensure all Americans have the right to vote, particularly in places where voting discrimination is commonplace. In 2006, the Voting Rights act was reauthorized with bipartisan support, which confirmed the notion that voting is a fundamental right for all citizens. While our nation has made significant progress towards fair voting for all, voting discrimination still exists, as the Supreme Court recognizes. As a result, today’s decision does not represent the end of a fair voting era, but serves as a reminder of the work that needs to be done. Furthermore, the Supreme Court’s decision has charged Congress with championing legislation that can ensure every American has the access to voting polls as well as equal protection of voting rights.
Ramon Goings is currently interning with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans. He is a Special Education Teacher and 3rd year doctoral student at Morgan State University majoring in Urban Educational Leadership.