VICTORY: Minnesota Voting Rights Act Passes State Legislature, Heads to Governor’s Desk

Today, the Minnesota Senate passed the Minnesota Voting Rights Act (MNVRA) — landmark pro-voter legislation that will strengthen the freedom to vote for all Minnesotans, including voters of color who have historically been denied an equal opportunity to participate in the political process. The legislation, which passed the Minnesota House Monday, will now head to Governor Tim Walz’s desk for his signature.

Upon enacting the MNVRA, Minnesota will become the seventh state to adopt a state-level Voting Rights Act (state VRA). The MNVRA provides Minnesotans — particularly Black, Indigenous and other Minnesotans of color — necessary state-law protections against racial discrimination in voting.


“The Minnesota Voting Rights Act will help ensure that Minnesotans of color can continue to make their voices heard at the ballot box and elect representatives of their choice,” said Lata Nott, senior legal counsel for voting rights at Campaign Legal Center. “It is heartening to see legislators come together to pass common-sense, pro-voter legislation that solidifies and builds upon the protections in the federal Voting Rights Act. At the end of the day, this legislation takes steps toward a more equitable government where  every voice is heard and every vote counts equally.”


In the decade following 2013’s disastrous Shelby County v. Holder ruling that gutted the federal Voting Rights Act, federal courts have continued to chip away at voting rights — and a gridlocked Congress has done nothing to stem the tide. This MNVRA, sponsored by Rep. Emma Greenman and Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, solidifies and expands upon the federal VRA and provides Minnesotans robust state law protections against racial discrimination in voting.


The Minnesota Voting Rights Act: 

  • Provides Minnesota voters with a “private right-of-action” in state law to sue against racially discriminatory voting policies.
  • Protects voters from voter suppression, or racially discriminatory voting policies and procedures that impair access to the ballot.
  • Protects voters from vote dilution, including election systems and voting districts that cancel out or minimize the voting power of people of color, keeping them from electing their preferred candidates.
  • Makes it easier for voters experiencing discrimination to fight back in court and through collaborative non-court processes.
  • Enshrines the “democracy canon,” a rule requiring courts to interpret all election-related laws in favor of voters and their equal right to participate in the political process.

Read the legislation (scroll to line 54.1) here.

Campaign Legal Center is active in directly advocating for and providing state partners with legal and policy support to help state VRAs get passed in state legislative chambers — including in Minnesota. CLC also files lawsuits to enforce state VRAs on behalf of communities of color, including the first case brought under the Washington Voting Rights Act.

Learn more about state VRAs here.