Chairperson Marcia L. Fudge Statement on the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
Cleveland, Ohio – Committee on House Administration Subcommittee on Elections Chairperson Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio) issued the following statement on the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965:
“On this 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, we are reminded of the countless men and women who dedicated their lives to fighting for the right to vote. Their toil and sacrifice led to the passage of landmark legislation which guaranteed essential voter protections for all Americans.
“These hard-fought protections were eroded in 2013 after the Supreme Court struck down a provision in Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. When the Court ruled in Shelby County v. Holder, they gutted more than a formula. They turned their back on the idea that all eligible Americans should have the right to vote. They allowed states to implement restrictive laws that target and suppress the voice of countless Americans, especially Black, Native, Latino, and language-minority citizens. They enabled bad actors to deny Americans their fundamental rights, and they allowed elected officials to pick their voters.
“Throughout the 116th Congress, the Subcommittee on Elections held a series of hearings across the country, listening closely and collecting testimony and evidence documenting a wide range of voter suppression methods and discrimination being deployed today. The evidence we collected formed the factual basis to support a new formula in H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act, to restore the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act. While this bill has passed the House, it has been blocked from Senate consideration by Majority Leader McConnell.
“As we commemorate the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, we must honor those who marched, protested, agitated – and indeed those who died – for the right to vote. America is great because of her ability to repair her faults. It is time for us to live up to that promise and ensure every American can access the ballot box, cast a ballot free from discrimination and suppression, and have a steadfast faith in our democratic process that their ballot will be counted as cast. There is still much work to be done.”
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