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How The Voting Rights Act Impacts Voting In Arizona

More than 50 years ago the Voting Rights Act was signed into law to prevent racial discrimination and voter suppression efforts in nine states, including Arizona.

As part of the Act, those states needed to get pre-approval, or pre-clearance, from the federal government for any voting rules changes. But the provision strictly focused on pre-clearance was wiped out on a 5-4 vote by the Supreme Court in 2013.

A number of people in Arizona, especially on the Democratic side, have argued that the thousands of people who were standing in line Tuesday night hours after the polls had closed wouldn’t have been in that situation if the full Voting Rights Act were still intact.

Tammy Patrick is the former federal compliance officer for the Maricopa County Elections Department and now works for the Democracy Project in Washington, D.C. She spoke about the issue

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Steve Goldstein was a host at KJZZ from 1997 to 2022.