WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer released the following statement today in recognition of the 45th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, which was signed into law on August 6, 1965:
“Forty-five years ago, Congress voted to ensure that all Americans, no matter their race or color, had the right to go to the polls and cast their vote. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made the promise of equal suffrage guaranteed by the 15th Amendment a reality, and dramatically strengthened our democracy as a result.
“In addition to President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Members of Congress who stood up for what was right, the bold leadership of the civil rights movement was essential to passing the Voting Rights Act into law. By bravely voicing their opposition to violence, intimidation and discrimination at the polls, often risking their lives to do so, the civil rights movement helped ensure that no American is excluded from the most fundamental expression of equality in democracy—the right to vote.
“In July of 2006, Democrats and Republicans joined together to build on that legacy by renewing the Voting Rights Act for another 25 years. I hope that both parties will continue to work together to ensure that all Americans enjoy the right to participate in our democracy on a fair and equal basis.”