“Our country has changed,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his decision in Shelby County v. Holder. Congress had reauthorized the Voting Rights Act in 2006 by a 98-0 Senate vote and a gaping 390-33 tally in the House, but in 2013 the Supreme Court’s conservative justices voted 5-4 to strike down its key pre-authorization provision.
The result has been predictable ― systematic disenfranchisement of voters across the South and beyond, undoubtedly contributing to the defeat of Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Florida and Georgia (the latter is still being contested), and perhaps even enabling Ted Cruz in Texas to keep his Senate seat.
Now that Democrats have reclaimed the House and key governor’s mansions, and flipped hundreds of state legislative seats, we have a chance to do something about it. It’s time for them to go all-in on the universal right to transparent and accessible voting.