Voting Rights Act at 50: We’re Not Backing Down

As Democrats we believe in the right of every American to vote. We’re not backing down.

Today, August 6, marks the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act if 1965. Signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, and building on our nation’s long history of progress on voting rights – including the Fifteenth Amendment, Nineteenth Amendment, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – the Voting Rights Act put in place important protections so that every American could exercise their right to vote.

15_03_MAR_Voting_Rights_3_FB_720_720_s_c1_c_c_0_0Throughout our history, Americans have fought and died for the right to vote. And while we’ve made significant progress, today there are those who seek to limit voting rights. In 2013 the Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act — eliminating the formula used to identify states with a history of voting discrimination and disenfranchisement. Since then, Republicans in numerous states have enacted voting law changes that could suppress the vote through discriminatory, burdensome voter ID requirements or restricting early voting periods.

Congress needs to fix the formula and reinstate the act. As Democrats, we will pursue every avenue — legal, political and through grassroots advocacy — to fix the Voting Rights Act.

As Democrats, we’re not backing down and will continue to fight to expand access to the polls for every eligible voter.