Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in recognition of the 49th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, which was signed into law on August 6, 1965:
“Today we mark the forty-ninth anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act, which will forever rank as one of the most successful pieces of Civil Rights legislation enacted for creating a process to combat racial discrimination in voting. It came after so many risked their lives and safety in marches, non-violent protests, and the Freedom Summer fifty years ago to draw national attention to voter suppression targeted against African Americans and help register eligible voters who had been deterred from exercising their most fundamental right.
“In the aftermath of last June’s Supreme Court ruling in Shelby v. Holder, which gutted a key section of the Voting Rights Act, Congress must not ignore its responsibility to ensure that all Americans who are eligible to vote can do so. This right is now under very real threat. A report released today by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law reveals that members of minority groups continue to experience discrimination across the country with regard to ballot access. This issue must be addressed without delay, which is why I joined with Rep. John Conyers and Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner to introduce the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendments Act to restore safeguards against voter suppression. Congress ought to take action to move our legislation forward quickly, and I hope the House Majority will bring it to the Floor when we return in September.”