Making Democracy Work

Issues

Position Statement on the Voting Rights Act

As the summer heat began to build in Washington DC, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated decision which gutted key components of the monumental Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965. The decision in the case of Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder erased fundamental protections against racial discrimination in voting that have been effective for more than 40 years and opened the floodgates for a wave of attacks on voters. Only strong action from Congress can fix the Court's mistake.

Before the ink was even dry on the decision, several states rushed to implement racially discriminatory anti-voter laws, including several states where the League of Women Voters had previously succeeded in blocking voter restrictions in the courts and state legislatures. Sadly, this is only the beginning. Without a strong VRA, our ability to fight off anti-voter legislation and keep our elections free, fair and accessible is significantly weakened.

As we approach the 48th anniversary of this historic civil rights legislation, the VRA remains an essential protection against the thinly veiled discrimination that still threatens Americans' right to vote. Congress needs to move swiftly to overcome this decision and restore the effectiveness of the VRA. The Shelby decision is a call to action for all who believe all Americans should have fair and equal access to the ballot. Now is the time to contact your member of Congress and tell him or her to repair the VRA before any more damage is done.

Holly Wiseman, LWVM member, presented Voting Rights at the September 2014 Luncheon

Public Utility Rates

Residential customers of Mobile Gas and Alagasco pay nearly twice as much for gas as residential customers in nearby states. The League of Women Voters of Alabama wants to know why.

The Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC) is currently in the process of reviewing rates for customers of Mobile Gas Company, Alabama Gas Company, and Alabama Power Company.

In January 2013, the PSC, which regulates these utilities, announced that it would hold public hearings "to investigate all regulated aspects of Mobile Gas ... and other utilities that fall under the agency's jurisdiction." These hearings began in February and are ongoing.

Concerned about the transparency of the process behind public utility rate-setting, the League of Women Voters of Alabama and Mobile are attending these meetings.

To learn more about this issue and to read the comments of the League on these proceedings, go here.

Alabama State Legislature

The League of Women Voters of Alabama follows issues being addressed in the state legislature that are relevant to the League's positions and its mission. For updates on events and bills relevant to these issues, check out the current legislative report