Summary: H.R.2978 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.2978. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (06/21/2017)

Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2017

This bill amends the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to allow a representative official of an Indian tribe, with authorization from the governing body of the tribe, to request one or more polling places to be located on tribal lands. The state or political subdivision shall provide each requested polling place at no expense to the Indian tribe if certain criteria are met.

A federal court shall retain jurisdiction to enforce constitutional voting guarantees, but also certain violations of the Act as well as of any federal prohibition against discrimination on the basis of race, color, or membership in a language minority group, for an appropriate period to prevent commencement of new devices to deny or abridge the right to vote.

Any state (and all of its political subdivisions) shall be subject to certain requirements for a 10-year period if:

  • 15 or more voting rights violations occurred there during the previous 25 years; or
  • 10 or more violations occurred during the previous 25 years, at least one of which was committed by the state itself (as opposed to a political subdivision within it).

A state or political subdivision that obtains a declaratory judgment that it has not used a device to deny or abridge the right to vote shall be exempt from such requirements unlessas specified.

This bill prescribes transparency requirements regarding any changes to specified matters.

Department of Justice authority to assign observers receives new extensions.

Courts shall grant preliminary injunctive relief if a complainant raises a serious question whether the challenged covered practice violates the Act or the Constitution and, on balance, the hardship imposed upon the defendant by the relief will be less than the hardship on the plaintiff if the relief were not granted.