Today the U.S. Supreme Court said it would review a voting rights case that directly challenges the Voting Rights Act's protections for minority voters.
That case involves Shelby County, Ala. The ACLU intervened in the case in order to represent minority voters and the state NAACP chapter, and protect the right to vote.
The county is challenging the Section 5 Voting Rights Act requirement that jurisdictions with a history of discriminatory voting practices get approval for changes in their election laws. When Congress extended Section 5 in 2006 by another 25 years, it overwhelmingly concluded that there is a great need for it, and said that without the Voting Rights Act’s protections, the minority vote will be diluted.
Voting, by and large, went well in Montana during Tuesday's elections, but we are concerned that minority populations may not be fully able to exercise their right to vote. One group is contending that Native American voters were turned away from the polls in Glacier County and told to come back later because the polling location was out of ballots.
We're also supporting the efforts of tribal members on the Fort Belknap, Northern Cheyenne and Crow Reservations who are seeking to have late registration and late voting locations established on the reservations rather than only at county seats.
Everyone must have an equal opportunity to vote.