SEIU’s Henry: We Can Honor 50th Anniversary of Voting Rights Act by Protecting Right to Vote

WASHINGTON —(ENEWSPF)–August 6, 2015.  SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement today, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act:

“I am proud to celebrate the anniversary of the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act—an historic and hard-won victory of the Civil Rights Movement that protects the rights and voices of all Americans at the ballot box. Many courageous Americans gave their lives for the right to vote and we must honor their legacy by upholding what they died so valiantly defending.

But in 2013 the Supreme Court gutted key pieces of the Voting Rights Act, which led to laws in several states that have eliminated early voting, changed registration requirements and closed polling locations in low-income communities, preventing citizens from exercising their lawful right to vote. People of color were hit the hardest by these disastrous attacks on our civil rights.

Congress needs to restore those key provisions and protect the right to vote for all Americans. The Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA) is supported by numerous civil rights groups and others working to uphold our democracy. Introduced this past June by dozens of co-sponsors in the House and in the Senate, the bill has a broad base of support, showing that protecting the right to vote for all Americans is a bipartisan issue.

We can honor the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act by fighting to protect the right to vote, free from discrimination. A healthy democracy is one where all voices can be heard and all people have equal rights to cast their votes. Congress must act to protect the right to vote by passing the Voting Rights Advancement Act.