DNC on Voting Rights Act Anniversary

On the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, DNC Chair Tom Perez and DNC Vice Chair for Civic Engagement and Voter Participation Karen Carter Peterson released the following statement reaffirming the Democratic Party’s commitment to protecting every eligible American’s right to cast a ballot:

“55 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law. It was a historic and hard-fought victory fueled by activists and civil rights leaders across the nation, by those who marched for freedom and organized for justice, who faced down billy clubs and baseball bats for the right to make their voices heard at the ballot box. John Lewis was one of those leaders. From Freedom Summer to Bloody Sunday, he risked his life for what was right. While we mark this year’s anniversary of the Voting Rights Act without one of its greatest champions, we must carry on his fight.

“Today, the Voting Rights Act is a shell of what it was on the day it was signed. The Supreme Court eviscerated key provisions in 2013 that helped protect against discrimination and secure the sanctity of the ballot for voters of color. Democrats in the House have passed legislation to restore this landmark law, but due to Republican obstruction, it has yet to be considered by the Senate. And with less than three months until Election Day, the Republican voter suppression machine is in full swing. In the middle of a global pandemic, Donald Trump and GOP leaders have made it their mission to silence as many voters as possible, especially in communities of color.

“Democrats believe our democracy works better when more people can participate, not fewer. We will keep fighting to end discrimiantion at the ballot box, expand access to vote-by-mail, and restore critical parts of the Voting Rights Act. In the words of Barack Obama, the best way to honor the lives of John Lewis, C.T. Vivian, and all of the heroes we’ve lost is by revitalizing the law they were willing to die for. That starts with electing Joe Biden as the next president of the United States.”