Logan Churchwell


Groups argue bill will drive American elections backwards toward partisan, racial
enforcement of laws

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- June 25, 2014: A national collection of voters’ rights organizations and
leaders continued their effort to alert Members of Congress on the potentially disastrous effects
of the Voting Rights Act Amendment (S 1945 / HR 3899) with letters submitted to Ohio
Congressmen Steve Chabot and Michael Turner – recent cosponsors for the legislation.
"HR 3899, the Voting Rights Amendment Act is a step backward, not forward, in securing American
voters’ rights,” the letter stated. “The truth is, this bill would fundamentally and intentionally change
American elections into race-reliant battlefields where, for the first time in our history, the United States,
as a legal matter, would exclude a majority of Americans as a class from the full protection of federal law
– based solely on the color of their skin.”
Signatories of the letters argue that critical attention be paid to the expansion of powers to an increasingly
partisan Holder Justice Department – rather than hyperbolic claims that American voters are without
protection. The letters highlight a number of problem areas with the proposed legislation:
 Clouds definitions of voting rights violations which can lead to partisan enforcement;
 Empowers the U.S. Attorney General to sidestep federal courts in weighing evidence of
alleged discrimination;
 Deliberately excludes “non-minorities” from full protection under the existing Voting
Rights Act;
 Significantly reduces the requirements for the DOJ to supersede local jurisdictions in
managing elections.
“We’re asking Representatives Chabot and Turner to take a look at the broader picture,” former
Ohio Secretary of State and current SOSforSoS Chairman Ken Blackwell said. “We are not
living in 1965 anymore. Blacks are out-voting whites and minorities getting elected to statewide
office are no longer groundbreaking news. Participating in an effort that turns Constitutionally-
guaranteed powers into playthings for political appointees is dangerous business for all voters,
and inconsistent with the principles of federalism.”
“Our goal is to ask Reps. Chabot and Turner if they truly wish to further subject their
constituencies to the ever-broadening powers of the federal bureaucracy and its unaccountable

political leadership,” True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said. “We have witnessed
enormous failures in even the most basic tasks of government recently. Are these members of the
Ohio Congressional Delegation willing to potentially turn over their state’s right to run elections
to the Department of Justice’s D.C. lawyers?”
The letters seek to further discuss the matters involving the Voting Rights Act Amendment with
the congressmen and their respective staff.
The letters, like recently delivered to former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor were submitted
by national voters’ rights groups and leaders including True the Vote, VotersTrust, SOSforSoS,
Election Law Center, American Civil Rights Union and the Black Conservatives Fund.
Representatives Chabot and Turner’s letters may be viewed online.

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