Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Chair Nancy Worley: Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, on August 6, 1965, the Voting Rights Act, a piece of legislation supported by both Democrats and Republicans, was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.  The Voting Rights Act guaranteed an American citizen’s right to register and vote without obstruction, yet many Republican candidates for President, as well as Republicans in Congress and GOP-led State Legislatures today, support obstacles to voter registration and voting.

The signing of the Voting Rights Act was the culmination of many battles by black, female, youth and other disenfranchised groups to ensure that every voice is heard on Election Day.  Today, the fight to protect and advance voting rights continues.

Over half the states have passed laws to expand access to the ballot, while many other states have passed restrictive voting laws. Fifty years after the Voting Rights Act was signed into law, we must recommit to fighting to ensure that every eligible citizen is able to register, that every registered voter is able to vote, and every vote is accurately counted.

Alabama, a state where the battle began to end racial discrimination at the ballot box, must continue its fight for voting rights and join over half of America, by enacting same-day voter registration, early voting, automatic voter registration upon graduation from high school and other progressive ideas.

Voting rights should not be a Democrat vs. Republican issue; voting rights should be a bipartisan commitment to fulfilling the promise of the Voting Rights Act from fifty years ago that every voice be heard on Election Day.