Led by freshman Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Sharpsburg, they are urging Congress not to renew an expiring provision in the act that requires Georgia and all or part of 15 other states to get federal approval when they change their voting procedures, whether by drawing new congressional districts or moving a polling station.
If the provision, known as Section 5, is renewed, it should be expanded to include all 50 states, Westmoreland said.
“Why should Georgia be singled out under this?” Westmoreland said. “Georgia has more than gotten their act together” since 1965.
In practical terms, Section 5 requires pre-clearance from the Justice Department on any change in the conduct of Georgia’s elections. For example, in my home county of Gwinnett, the Elections office created a number of new voting precincts. Those new precincts cannot be used in an election until Justice gives the pre-clearance.
Surely there is no longer any need for Georgia to be subjected to such a requirement. Of course, Cong. Lewis and friends are vehemently oppose to any changes to the Voting Rights Act, but hopefully reasonable people will prevail and the VRA will be modified to reflect the new reality. What do you folks think?