Press Releases

CBC Statement on Voting Rights Act Anniversary

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Washington, August 6, 2018 | comments
Today, the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressman Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA-02), along with the CBC Voting Rights Task Force co-chairs, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-01) and Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL-07) released the following statement recognizing Monday, August 6 as the 53rd anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965:

“The Voting Rights Act is one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation in American history, ensuring all Americans have an equal opportunity to participate in our country’s democratic process.

“However, since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, which gutted a key part of the Voting Rights Act, voting rights have been under attack.  States across the country continue to pass laws that suppress the African-American vote, including strict voter ID laws, political and racial gerrymandering, and the purging of voters from rolls. American voters have a harder time casting a ballot in 2018 than they did a decade ago.

“These laws intentionally target marginalized communities, silencing the voices of eligible voters who have a right to engage in our democracy.  This past June, experts in election law provided evidence of voter suppression to Members of Congress during a panel hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Voting Rights Task Force.

“As the Senate considers the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, let us be reminded that the rights of African Americans to fully participate in democracy and every facet of social and economic life are at stake.  The next Supreme Court justice will play a critical role in determining whether the Court will further roll back voting rights, and Judge Kavanaugh has demonstrated a complete lack of commitment to protecting free and fair elections.

“It has been 53 years since the passage of the Voting Rights Act and the struggle to realize the right to vote for every American is more urgent than ever.  As we recognize the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, we renew our call on the Republican-led Congress to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act and protect the right to vote for every American.”
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