Orange County NC Website
1 <br /> ORANGE COUNTY <br /> BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS <br /> ACTION AGENDA ITEM ABSTRACT <br /> Meeting Date: September 1, 2020 <br /> Action Agenda <br /> Item No. 4-d <br /> SUBJECT: Resolution Celebrating the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 <br /> DEPARTMENT: Human Rights and Relations <br /> ATTACHMENT(S): INFORMATION CONTACT: <br /> Resolution Commissioner Renee Price, (919) 245- <br /> 2126 <br /> Annette M. Moore, (919) 245-2317 <br /> PURPOSE: To approve a resolution celebrating the 55t" Anniversary of the passage of the <br /> Voting Rights Act of 1965, which occurred on August 6, 1965. <br /> BACKGROUND: On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voters Rights Act <br /> of 1965, considered the most crucial piece of legislation of the Civil Rights movement. A bi- <br /> partisan Congress has strengthened the Act by amending and reauthorizing the provisions of <br /> the Voting Rights Act five-time throughout the years. <br /> Congress enacted the Voting Rights Act to guarantee rights granted under the 14t" and 15tn <br /> Amendments of the United States Constitution so that no one, including state, federal, or local <br /> government, could stop citizens from registering to vote or voting because of their race or <br /> ethnicity. The Voting Rights Act contains numerous provisions for regulating elections laws. <br /> Regulations in the Act a) prohibited tests and other devices that were used to keep people from <br /> voting; b) prohibitions against voting laws that would discriminate against a racial or ethnical <br /> minority; and c) included a preclearance requirement that prevented specific jurisdictions from <br /> making changes to their voting laws without prior approval from the U.S Attorney General of the <br /> U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. There is also a provision specifically for ensuring <br /> that jurisdictions having significant language minority population provide language access <br /> services including providing bilingual ballots and other election materials. <br /> In 2013, the United States Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder struck down Section 4 of <br /> the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which contained the formula used to identify the state and local <br /> governments that have to comply with the preclearance requirements. The Supreme Court, <br /> while striking down the formula, left the preclearance requirement provision intact. Therefore, <br /> none of the jurisdictions covered by the formula has to comply unless Congress enacts a new <br /> formula to determine whom it covers. <br /> The United States Department of Justice's data indicates that from 1982 to 2006, 750 Section 5 <br /> preclearance objections blocked approximately 2,400 discriminatory voting changes. Over half <br />