State lawmakers from around the country crowded into a packed room Monday at the meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures to learn more about the impact of the Supreme Court’s recent decision striking down the Voting Rights Act as activists gear up for a new battle over the ballot box.
The panelists that led at the NCSCL gathering in Atlanta said there’s so much interest in possible voting changes that more chairs had to be brought in for the larger-than-expected crowd that topped 100.
With legislatures in most states out session at the time, both sides – those who favor additional restrictions and those want to stop any such efforts – are planning for what could be a long and complicated fight in the months ahead – from the Statehouse to the town council.
“It’s a quiet before the storm period, and it’s hard to tell when the storm is going to hit,” attorney Jeffrey M. Wice told POLITICO after the panel. “No one expects Congress to act, and there’s also a wait and see approach to see how far think tanks and legal defense organizations go to bring lawsuits to expand [VRA] challenges.”