Currently in North Carolina, the Republican General Assembly is pushing through a harsh Voter ID bill along with plans to reduce early voting, eliminate Sunday voting and ban same-day registration.
While these Southern States have enacted laws to make it harder for citizens to vote, states in other parts of the country like Washington and Oregon have gone to same day registration and vote-by-mail in an effort to increase voter participation — and it has worked.
There is still a need for a Section 4 formula. Just as in 1964, Congress should make good on its promises to the thousands of people who fought for fair voting and equal access to the polls. While states do have a clear right to make their own laws, they do not have a right to make it more difficult for minority citizens to cast a vote. Congress should act immediately to ensure every American the right to free and fair elections. We should demand nothing less of the greatest democracy in the world.
Jay Parmley is the executive director of South Forward.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.