February 25, 2006
The achievement of a government that is responsive to the needs and aspirations of its people is possible only through maximum citizen participation in the electoral process. No right is more central to the function of a democracy than voting and, as such, the Voting Rights Act remains one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation. There are great disparities in how Americans vote. Long waiting times, identification requirements, and widely varying registration and voting technologies all affect the way Americans experience their right to vote and tend to have an onerous affect on minority populations. Problems with access to voting have occurred with greater frequency in precincts with high minority populations. The disparities indicate the possibility of discriminatory policies or practices. In addition, the impact of these disparities has led to discomfort on the part of many, especially racial minorities, with the electoral process.
The JCPA believes that the Voting Rights Act should be extended without weakening amendments because it remains a vital tool in the protection of voting rights.