Voting Rights Act in Question in SC, Other States

Court case in Alabama could impact South Carolina

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By Monique Williams

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- If the Voting Rights Act of 1965, specifically Section 5, is struck down in an Alabama case to be heard Wednesday by the United States Supreme Court, it will set a precedent for all states, including South Carolina, that have a history of discriminatory voting practices.

It would no longer require those states to get federal government approval, or 'pre-clearance,' before changing their voting laws or maps.

The issue has both sides screaming foul.

"All people should have the right to vote. The right to vote for representatives is a primary right by which all other rights are protected. To take away these rights is to reduce a person to slavery," said Lonnie Randolph, Jr., president of the South Carolina National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

"It's an outdated unnecessary law. This is a new South Carolina. It keeps us in the past. It doesn't focus us on where we ought to be going to the future as South Carolinians," said Chad Connelly, South Carolina GOP Chairman.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling by June.

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