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The Struggle to Protect Voting Rights Perhaps the biggest blow to voting rights came in 2013, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Shelby County, Alabama, v. Holder, to dismantle Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The decision meant that states with histories of racial discrimination were no longer required to pre-clear changes in voting laws with the federal government before they went into effect. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images