The formula is outdated
Section 5 is not static, and dozens of jurisdictions have been added under the provision since it was first passed. In fact, Section 5 was reconsidered and reauthorized by Congress in 1970, 1975, 1982 and 2006 based on extensive evidence of continuing discrimination.
The NAACP, Advancement Project and other civil rights advocates have long pushed for expanding Section 5's "pre-clearance" to include more states with voting problems, such as Ohio and Colorado, and more counties with records of egregious discrimination in voting. Doing so, however, takes Congressional action. So far, Washington's lawmakers have not demonstrated the political will. We should not revoke critical protections for fair voting simply because Congress has failed to act on expanding them.
Section 5 is no longer applicable
The Voting Rights Act was passed not only for the most extreme acts of intimidation, but also for the small changes, such as literacy tests and poll taxes, that made voting harder for people of color and poor whites. The last few years leading up to the 2012 elections saw the greatest efforts to pass restrictive voting laws since the post-Reconstruction era, including limiting the type of ID that people can use, and requiring additional proof of citizenship to register and vote, all of which disproportionately impact people of color and the working poor. These adjustments unfairly shift the goal line and demonstrate why Section 5 is still needed.
Section 2 is sufficient to ensuring fair voting procedures
While Section 2 of the law bans voting practices that discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity, it is enforced only through lawsuits. When lawsuits are filed, the burden of proof rests with the challenger (not the local or state government that has changed voting rules).
In contrast, Section 5 ensures that discrimination can't take hold by blocking problematic policies from going into effect in the first place. Without these precautions, unfair voting policies would go unchecked, leaving disenfranchised voters to face harm later.
The country reelected an African-American president, with a large share of support from black and Latino voters, so we no longer need their votes to be protected by Section 5
Section 5 made a difference in the 2012 elections. It blocked restrictive photo ID laws in Texas and South Carolina, and was used to reject a Texas redistricting plan that would undercut Latino voting power. And as the U.S. Department of Justice reviews Mississippi's photo ID law, that measure is on hold.