The Justice Department, no longer responsible for vetting election procedures in states with a history of racial discrimination, instead plans to proactively search the entire country for voting rights violations. Its new focus is the result of a June 2013 Supreme Court decision dismantling a Voting Rights Act provision that had required all or part of 15 states to get “pre-clearance” from Justice officials or a federal court before making any changes to their election procedures. Now, the department says, it will be more proactive in protecting minority voters.
“The voting section’s work will shift to greater affirmative efforts to detect and investigate voting practices that violate federal law, to more affirmative litigation to enjoin such practices, and to additional monitoring of elections throughout the country each year,” according to the agency’s fiscal 2015 budget documents sent to Congress last week.
Instead of cutting back on the number of attorneys handling voting rights cases, the department is expanding its reach under other sections of the Voting Rights Act that allow it to sue jurisdictions for unfair voting practices or return the worst offenders to a more strict level of oversight.
Full Article: DOJ plans expansion of voting rights enforcement.