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NEA Issue Explainer

Voting Rights

Whatever our color, background, or ZIP code, our vote gives us a say in the decisions that affect our lives.
the sun sets behind a young Black girl in a field with an American flag blowing in the wind
Published: December 2, 2021
This issue explainer originally appeared on

Congress passed the Voting Rights Act in 1965 to fight attempts to discriminate against voters, but today a faction of elected representatives refuses to pass laws to protect our freedom to vote. Certain U.S. Supreme Court decisions in recent years have done more harm than good.

Many states are silencing the voices of Black, Brown, Indigenous, young, elderly, and disabled voters.

Congress must pass laws to ensure that every American can safely and freely cast their ballot, building on our legacy of expanding access to voting and welcoming all voices.

Stacey Abrams headshot
“Voter suppression directly impacts the issues most vital to the health and welfare of our nation’s children, such as public education, health care, and affordable housing.”
Quote by: Stacey Abrams, Founder, Fair Fight

Voting Rights

Broadening and expanding access to the vote is entrenched in America’s history.

Establishing nationwide protections

President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to prohibit discrimination in voting by providing nationwide protections for voting rights.

Voting Rights Act is Extended

Congress overwhelmingly passes an extension of the Voting Rights Act by 64-12 in the Senate, 224-183 in the House. President Nixon signs it into law.

Second Reauthorization

The second reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act passes 77-12 in the Senate, 341-70 in the House. President Ford signs it into law.

Pres. Reagan Signs Third Exention

The 25-year extension of the Voting Rights Act passes 85-8 in the Senate, 389-24 in the House. President Reagan signs it into law.

Fourth Reauthorization Overwhelmingly Passes

The fourth reauthorization, the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006, passes 98-0 in the Senate, 390-33 in the House. Pres. George W. Bush signs it into law.

Supreme Court Weakens Protections

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County v. Holder sweeps away a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that prevented states with a history of voter discrimination from changing their voting laws and practices without preclearance by federal officials.

Voting Rights Endangered

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee makes it more difficult to challenge discriminatory voting laws passed by states. Legislatures in many states pass laws making it harder to vote using a range of tactics, including imposing harsher ID requirements and shortening the time for mail-in ballots.

Your Union, Your Voice

We are THE voice for education support professionals in Clark County. See what membership can mean for you!
ESEA members attend trustee meeting

Our Voice = Our Power

When we unite and speak truth to power, we can have an enormous impact. That’s why our members join together to create a future where schools are funded, educators are supported, and students are thriving.

Keeping the Promise of Public Education

ESEA is the largest ESP local in the United States and is a full-service employee association which is an affiliate of the Nevada State Education Association (NSEA) and the National Education Association (NEA), the largest national association representing education employees in the United States.