Resolution to Extend Voting Rights Act of 1965
A resolution urging the U.S. Congress to extend or make permanent sections of
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 set to expire in 2007
THE HONORABLE BOBBIE L. STEELE AND LARRY SUFFREDIN, COOK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
THE HONORABLE JERRY BUTLER, FORREST CLAYPOOL, EARLEAN COLLINS,
JOHN P. DALEY, ELIZABETH ANN DOODY GORMAN, GREGG GOSLIN, CARL R. HANSEN, JOSEPH MARIO MORENO, JOAN PATRICIA MURPHY, ANTHONY J. PERAICA, MIKE QUIGLEY, PETER N. SILVESTRI AND DEBORAH SIMS,
WHEREAS, The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973 to 1973aa-6) has proven to be one of the most successful and effective civil rights laws in American history; and
WHEREAS, As the Supreme Court has said, the equal right to vote is fundamental because it is “preservative of all rights;” and
WHEREAS, Discrimination on the basis of race persists in our nation and equal opportunity in voting still does not exist in many jurisdictions;
WHEREAS, in 2007, three crucial sections of the Voting Rights Act will expire unless Congress votes to renew them; and
WHEREAS, Cook County, with its ethnic and racial diversity, commitment to equal rights and quest to ensure fundamental fairness in the voting process, believes in the need to uphold the decree of equal justice for all through either extending or making permanent all sections of the Voting Rights Act;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, BY THE COOK COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, that in relation to the Voting Rights Act, the County of Cook urges Congress to:
1. Reenact the Section 5 pre-clearance requirements consistent with the time period adopted with the 1982 extension. These provisions directly impact nine states with a documented history of discriminatory voting practices and local jurisdictions in seven other states by requiring them to submit planned changes in their election laws or procedures to the U.S. Department of Justice of the District Court in Washington, D.C. for pre-approval;
2. Renew Section 203 and 4(f)4 so that new citizens and other Americans who are limited in their ability to speak English can continue to receive assistance when voting. These provisions currently impact over 466 local jurisdictions across 31 states; and
3. Renew Sections 6 to 9, which authorize the attorney general to appoint election monitors and poll watchers. The need for such monitors and poll watchers is paramount to the conduct of a free and meaningful democracy. These monitors attend and observe voting and vote-counting procedures during elections. They watch, listen, and take careful notes of everything that happens inside the polling place during an election, and are also trained not to interfere with the election in any way. They prepare reports that may be filed in court, and they can serve as witnesses in court if the need arises.
AND, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that suitable copies of this Resolution, be delivered to the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Majority Leader of the Senate, the Minority Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and all members of Congress representing Cook County;
AND, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution shall take effect on the date of its passage and approval.
Approved and adopted this 6th day of June, 2006.
JOHN H. STROGER, JR. President
Cook County Board of Commissioners
DAVID ORR, County Clerk