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June 25, 2013
Statement by Secretary of State Beth Chapman on the US Supreme Court Decision in Shelby County v. Holder

Secretary of State Beth Chapman said today’s US Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act is a pivotal time in Alabama’s election history. The decision came from a court case from Shelby County which made its way to the top court in the nation.

While there was no ruling on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act itself, the Court held that Congress must revise the formula located in Section 4 used to determine which states must have every change to election laws approved by the United States Department of Justice. 

Alabama has been one of nine states since the mid 1960’s who had to pre-clear all changes to their voting procedures with the US Department of Justice. 

“We are not the same state we were decades ago and I am glad that the majority of the Supreme Court recognizes that fact,” Chapman said. “Alabama has made great progress in our elections process.” 

There still exists a provision of the Voting Rights Act where issues of discrimination can be prosecuted.

“If there is a time or circumstance where a voter feels there has been any discrimination regarding the elections process, then Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act will provide a way for that case to be heard as it should,” Chapman said.

“Chief Justice Roberts and a majority of the court recognize the Alabama of today is not the Alabama of the past.  We will continue to provide fair and honest elections for all citizens.”  Chapman said.



For more information, visit Secretary of State John H. Merrill’s Web Site: