Brooklyn Law Review


The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the coverage formula of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in Shelby County. v. Holder in 2013. Members of Congress have attempted to renew the VRA with an updated coverage formula through the Voting Rights Advancement Acts of 2015 and of 2017. Unfortunately, Congressional Republicans have not supported either bill. Even if passed in its current form, the Supreme Court is likely to strike down the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2017 (VRAA) for violating the principle of “equal sovereignty between the States” as set forth by the Court in Shelby County. Therefore, this note argues that Congress should amend the bailout provisions of the VRA to pass the VRAA. The amended bailout provisions will (1) give states under the preclearance regime a quicker timeframe to prove nondiscrimination in voting; and (2) encourage states under the preclearance regime to create affirmative programs to register and turnout more voters. In this way, the new VRA will increase participation in local, state, and federal elections and create even more representative governments.