On the 50th anniversary of Voting Rights Act, President Obama renewed a call for new, broader voting rights legislation and urged people to exercise their hard-won voting rights instead of staying home on election days. Ari Berman notes that 2016 will be the first presidential contest in 50 years where voters cannot rely on the full protections of the Voting Rights Act and that new restrictions on voting will be in place in up to 15 states, which account for as many as 162 electoral votes, including crucial swing states like Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia. Two Democratic congressional incumbents from South Florida would be pitted against one another under a first draft of a redistricting map released by the Florida Legislature just days before they begin a court-mandated special session to deal with the topic. A coalition of voting rights advocates and Oklahoma’s election board announced an agreement in which the state committed to asking any person who interacts with welfare agencies whether they want to register to vote and then to helping them through the process. A federal appeals court ruled that Texas’ voter ID law has a “discriminatory” effect on minorities in a victory for President Barack Obama, whose administration took the unusual step of bringing the weight of the U.S. Justice Department to fight a wave of new ballot-box restrictions passed in conservative statehouses. A panel of federal judges on Wednesday denied Republicans’ request to delay a court order to redraw a Virginia elections map that was found to illegally pack African Americans into a single congressional district at the expense of their influence elsewhere. After a nearly four years of delays, legislative elections take place today in Haiti and a broad alliance of Catalan candidates aim to turn a regional parliamentary election scheduled for September into a plebiscite on breaking away from Spain.