A Trump administration plan to gut key provisions of the Voting Rights Act is set to be unveiled Wednesday, as Republicans seek to slash federal funding to key voting rights groups.
The proposal, released Thursday by the Department of Justice, would remove a requirement that states with a history of discrimination on the basis of race or color have “sufficient information” to make sure minorities, students and the elderly have the ability to cast a ballot.
The proposed rule would also bar states from changing voting laws after they’ve been approved by a federal court.
The White House said in a statement that the proposal “takes a crucial step in our nation’s long fight against voter suppression by removing vital safeguards and protections for millions of Americans who are eligible to vote.”
The proposal has been widely criticized as an attack on voting rights, but the Department said it’s not the same as trying to gut the law.
“Voting rights are not a partisan issue,” the statement said.
“We will not use this legislation to suppress the right of every American to vote and ensure the integrity of our elections.
We will not eliminate the protections in the Voting Access, Enforcement and Fairness Act that protect millions of people from the most egregious forms of discrimination.”
The DOJ also said that the rule would not apply to states with strict preclearance requirements for voting.
A group of conservative lawmakers have vowed to use the proposal to dismantle federal protections for voting rights under a proposal called the Voter Integrity Act.
The legislation would end the requirement that federal courts approve any changes to voting laws.
A new proposal from Republicans to cut federal funding for voting-rights groups has received less attention, but it’s still in the works.
The GOP proposal calls for slashing funding to organizations that “support the rights of voters, especially African Americans, students, the elderly and people with disabilities,” among other groups.
They also call for scrapping a program that helps eligible voters register and vote in federal elections.
The measure, which would require the Attorney General to submit to Congress a list of all recipients of federal grants, has also been criticized as being an attack to voter access.
But it’s unclear how the GOP plan would affect groups that have received millions in federal funds, such as voting rights advocates.
That group, which is part of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, has faced criticism for not doing more to fight voter suppression.
A recent report found that of the top 100 groups receiving federal grants since the end of the 2016 election, only 11 percent reported that they were “actively fighting voter suppression,” compared with 24 percent in the prior five years.