Ossining Urging Congress to Restore Important Anti-Discriminatory Section of Voting Rights Act

The Village’s Board of Trustees has passed a resolution calling on Congress to restore Section 4(b).

In an effort to combat “discriminatory” voting practices that might result from the Supreme Court’s June decision to eliminate a section of the Voting Rights Act, the Village of Ossining’s Board of Trustees passed a resolution on August 20 urging Congress to restore that section of the VRA. 

In a final June decision in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court eliminated the Voting Rights Act’s Section 4(b), which calls for federal preclearance for any changes to voting laws that could result in voting discrimination. 

“A ruling which opens the door for the unjust or prejudicial treatment of any person is against the principles of liberty and democracy,” said Ossining Mayor William R. Hanauer in a statement released by the village. “Restoring the Voting Rights Act with language unassailable by the Supreme Court would correct the Court’s recent undermining of centuries of progress toward greater freedom and expanded rights for all Americans.”

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According the village’s statement, stricter voter ID laws with a “clear intent to limit the rights of minorities, first time voters, the ages, and the disabled” are being enacted and are already going into effect. 

According to Ossining’s release, a copy of their resolution is on its way to President Barack Obama, State Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and Governer Andrew Cuomo.

Per the United States Census Bureau and American FactChecker, Ossining’s population of minorities is much higher than Westchester County’s. According to the 2010 census, Hispanics and Latinos constitute 41.4% and Black or African Americans constitute 17.2% of the village’s population, against Westchester County’s respective 21.8% and 14.6%.

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