Lawmakers move to restore Voting Rights Act

Four states – Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas – would again have to get approval from the Justice Department before making any changes in the way they hold elections under a bipartisan bill introduced Thursday to restore parts of the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional.

Supporters said the bill would modernize and improve the 1965 civil rights legislation by updating a formula used to require certain states with a history of discrimination to get federal approval before changing election laws and practices.

The Supreme Court ruled last June that the existing formula that had become the government’s primary tool in enforcing the law relied on four-decade-old data that didn’t reflect racial progress and other changes in society.

AP