06/26/2014 11:22 am ET Updated Jun 26, 2014

How Mississippi's Primary Could Affect The Voting Rights Act

Mississippi's 2014 GOP primary face off ended in a victory of Sen. Thad Cochran over Sen. Chris McDaniel.

Support from black voters ensured Cochran's defeat of McDaniel, but whether or not his win secures his support of the stalled Voting Rights Amendment Act is still uncertain, though the NAACP has since called on Cochran for an act of "reciprocity."

Franita Tolson, professor of voting rights at Florida State University College of Law, and Myrna Perez, Deputy Director of the Democracy Program at The Brennan Center For Justice, talked with HuffPost Live about what Mississippi's primary results could mean for black voters.

Perez discussed the legitimacy of fraud claims on targeted populations in the conversation about the Voting Rights Amendment Act.

"We need to be very careful about allowing the issue of fraud to be the justification for placing restrictions on voters and getting in front of the ballot box," Perez told HuffPost Live. "It's incredibly important that we make sure our elections have the great deal of integrity that they should and that the public has confidence in them but we need to be very clear about what we are going to fix and not allow politicians to utter the word fraud and impose a great deal of restrictions on the right to vote."

Professor Tolson asserts that it's hard to tell if Cochran will follow through on his promise to support the Voting Rights Amendment Act, especially in light of the danger surrounding "assertions that we are post-racial, that things are better, that there aren't attempts to circumscribe the right to vote, when in fact there are."

Follow The Brennan Center and Professor Tolson on Twitter to follow the Voting Rights Amendment Act conversation.



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