Congress Must Act to Restore the Voting Rights Act

Washington, D.C.  – “Today may be an anniversary but it is not a celebration,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, national President of the League of Women Voters. “It was one year ago that the U.S. Supreme Court gutted key provisions of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, leaving room for discrimination to gain an even better foothold at the ballot box.”

“Since then, the Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA) was crafted and introduced by a bipartisan group of legislators. The VRAA is a workable, commonsense solution that would modernize the elections process and protect voting rights against discrimination,” said MacNamara. “We have the solution. We just need Congress to continue to do its part and keep this legislative fix moving forward.”

“Today was an important step; the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on voting rights and discrimination. The end result of that discussion: we must pass the VRAA and quickly,” MacNamara continued. “We are hopeful and encouraged by today’s action. We all know that League members never give up, and they have already sent tens of thousands of letters to Congress in support of swift action on this bill.”

“The House of Representatives and the House leadership must follow the Senate’s lead and move this bill forward,” said MacNamara. “At a time when trust and belief in our elected leaders is weak, the VRAA is proof that elected officials can put aside politics to govern. Action in the House is needed quickly to prevent discrimination at the polls.”

“This fall, Americans across the country will head to the polls for the 2014 elections,” MacNamara said. “While unfortunately, there will be some voters that encounter discrimination in November, League members and others stand ready to help them get registered and vote. The VRAA is vitally important because it will help ensure equal access to the vote for all eligible voters and help fight against discrimination in voting.”

“Let’s use this occasion as motivation,” concluded MacNamara. “There is no better time than today to push the fight for equality at the ballot box closer to the finish line. Congress: Let’s get this done; let’s work to protect all eligible voters.” 

Contact Kelly Ceballos at kceballos@lwv.org to find out more or to schedule an interview. 

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The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.