Under the Dome

Voting rights tour stops in Raleigh

A multi-state tour to urge Congress to reinstate the Voting Rights Act provision that requires federal approval of state elections laws will stop in Raleigh on Tuesday.

The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP and an Alabama civil rights coalition are co-sponsoring the event, which will begin at 4 p.m. at the State Capitol in downtown Raleigh.

“Caravan for Democracy: From the State Capitols to the Nation’s Capitol” is the title for the traveling demonstration, which will end in Washington, D.C. It began in Selma, Ala. Other stops include Montgomery, Ala.; Atlanta; Columbia, S.C.; and Richmond, Va.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the “preclearance” provision as outdated. The law required the U.S. Attorney’s Office or a three-judge panel to approve some states’ voting laws. It required parts of some other states – including in North Carolina – to also receive federal approval.

Congress will have to come up with a new preclearance plan in order for there to be federal approval now. But civil rights groups are not happy with the proposal currently being considered in Congress, saying it is too weak.

Critics contend the Supreme Court decision opened the door for more restrictive election laws, such as those approved by the General Assembly and governor last year in North Carolina.