While the rest of Capitol Hill turned its attention to Russia’s influence in our most recent presidential contest, we felt it important to shine a light on a neglected threat to our democracy: the attack on voting rights, which has accelerated since 2010. We held a congressional briefing on voting rights on the anniversary of the “orange surprise” (also known as the 2016 election) and the increasing threat of voter suppression efforts. Indeed, 14 states passed restrictive voting laws that were new for 2016, meaning this was the first presidential election since the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court case limiting the bipartisan Voting Rights Act. The event briefing featured Nicole Austin-Hillery of the Brennan Center for Justice, Jeanette Senecal of the League of Women Voters, Jennifer Bellamy of the ACLU, and Danielle Lang with theCampaign Legal Center. The panelists discussed potential avenues for advocacy to protect and expand voting rights, the gerrymandering case Gill v. Whitford in front of the Supreme Court, and Trump’s ironically named Pence-Kobach Commission on Election Integrity. For more, see our voting rights issue brief and our Yalla Vote project.

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