Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo was one of thirty-three Republicans to not support the Voting Rights Act Thursday, when the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to renew it.
While 390 representatives supported the measure in a bipartisan consensus, Tancredo objected to provisions in the legislation that would require bilingual ballots in voting districts. In the Denver Post, a Tancredo spokesman was quoted saying the following:
Tancredo’s contender in the next election, Bill Winter, was also quoted saying he didn’t follow the logic of Tancredo’s vote:
The historical piece of legislation was made law in 1965, in an effort to outlaw state practices that discriminated against minority voters. It also gave the federal government the right to regulate local voting laws.
House members voted to renew the act for 25 years, reviving federal oversight of voting changes. However, the anti-discrimination section in the law will remain permanent.
Tancredo was also joined by Colorado Representative Joel Hefley in dissenting, although Hefley objected based on his view that the act violated sate rights.
Currently, the legislation is making its way to the Senate, and Republican majority leader Bill Frist is saying that he expects it to pass. There is also a constitutional amendment being proposed that would make voting a constitutional right.