The landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 banned discriminatory practices—like literacy tests, poll taxes, intimidation, threats, and violence—and extended voting protections to millions of racial, ethnic, and language minority citizens.
In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in its Shelby County v. Holder ruling.
Twenty-five states have imposed new restrictions ranging from strict photo ID requirements to early voting cutbacks to making it harder to register to vote, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 would require states and localities with a history of voter discrimination to get approval from the U.S. Department of Justice before changing their election laws.
As efforts to suppress the vote continue—for example, through measures to deter student voting or limit absentee ballots—the need for protections persists.