Florida NAACP to fight for voter rights
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The latest Supreme Court ruling on voter rights has civil rights activists outraged.
Dale Landry remembers his grandmother trying to vote before the voting rights act was the law of the land.
"I was there when they used the 'N' word and called her the 'N' gal and what are you doing?'" said Landry, of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "Young white boys, teens, they spit. And during that time you best not do anything."
Last Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The law determined which areas in the country needed federal permission before changing any voting laws. Five Florida counties were on the list.
"We know all to well that we've had irregularities in our voting system." said state Rep. Alan Williams.
Florida passed major changes to state election law in 2011, then spent nearly $1 million before getting federal approval. With the Supreme Court ruling, activists say they are going to push Congress to make sure voters are protected.
"We're not going to stand back, we're going to continue to fight the fight," activist Jeanette Wynn said.
The state says the Supreme Court ruling will put all 67 counties on a level playing field and will help save the state hundreds of thousands of dollars anytime there is an election law change.
"Rather than five counties needing to go through an addition federal approval process, they're going to be able to implement laws the same time as the rest of Florida's counties," Chris Cate, of the Florida Department of State.
Florida has since reversed the 2011 voting law changes because they created long lines and other problems.
The Voting Rights Act blocked more than 1,000 proposed changes to voting laws across the country from 1982 to 2006.
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