Washington, DC – Hundreds of League members from around the country will be on Capitol Hill today and bringing with them a tough message on voting rights for their U.S. Senators and Representatives.

“2016 will mark the first presidential election in 50 years without the vital protections for voters found in the Voting Rights Act (VRA),” said Elisabeth MacNamara, president of the League of Women Voters of the U.S. “It has been three years since the disastrous U.S. Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder gutted key provisions of the VRA and left voters and their rights at risk of discrimination.”

“Our members are fanning out across the Capitol today to tell their elected representatives that it is well past time to right this wrong. We need them to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA), legislation that will put protections back into place to ensure that Americans have equal opportunity to access the polls,” MacNamara said.

The day of advocacy kicks off the League’s 52nd National Convention this weekend in Washington, D.C. Taking place at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel, the gathering brings close to a thousand members from around the country to plan the organization’s work in 2016 and beyond as well as elect national leadership.

“In 2013, Shelby opened the floodgates to the expansion of discriminatory voting laws across the country and now we are seeing their impact on voters,” said MacNamara. “Throughout the primaries, voters from Texas to Wisconsin, California to North Carolina, faced hurdles getting to the polls because of laws that make it harder for voters, particularly voters of color, to participate in our democracy.”

“Today our members will be delivering a personal, direct message to their Senators and Representatives, one they have been urging for years from their home states,” concluded MacNamara. “Step up to the plate and take action that will protect and benefit all voters. Pass the VRAA.”

Contact: Kelly Ceballos, 202-263-1331 or kceballos@lwv.org.

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The League of Women Voters is celebrating 96 years of Making Democracy Work® at every level of government. In 1920, the League was founded as an outgrowth of the movement that secured women the right to vote to help new voters engage with their government. Today the League empowers all voters to improve their local, state and national government. Learn more about the League of Women Voters and join our celebration!