(Washington D.C., Tuesday, October 15, 2019) – When five justices on the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in the Shelby County v. Holder case in 2013, they made it easier for states and localities to revert back to discriminatory practices that restrict the voting rights of Black, Brown, Native, and Asian American people.
In 2016 a total of 14 states imposed new restrictive voting laws in advance of the presidential election, including cuts to early voting days and hours, strict voter ID laws, purges of eligible voters off the rolls, and other barriers that made it more difficult to register to vote. As a result, during the 2016 elections, one million people could not vote because of these problems. By 2018, six states had new restrictive laws in place. In states like Georgia, voters were faced with over-five-hour long lines and encountered countless other barriers to the ballot box.
Millions of Americans have made it clear that they want to build a representative and functioning democracy where everyone, regardless of race or color– or what language they speak– can participate. The record number of voters in 2018 who turned out to support laws and policies aimed at making voting more accessible and eliminating unnecessary, racist barriers to the ballot box, made that evident.
Today, Congress must deliver at the national level by passing HR 4 the Voting Rights Advancement Act to ensure that we have the tools we need to address the racial discrimination in voting that persists. Building a government that is representative of all its people is critical to our ability to solve some of our country’s most pressing challenges, and to improve conditions for us all.
If we are committed to making progress on issues that impact our everyday lives, such as educational equity, housing, economic security, and justice system reform, we must have a working democracy. Learn more about The Leadership Conference Education Fund’s work to preserve and defend our democracy at https://civilrights.org/edfund.
:30 PSA SCRIPT
OUR DEMOCRACY HAS TO WORK FOR ALL OF US – REGARDLESS OF WHO WE ARE OR WHAT OUR COLOR. OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ENSURING THAT OUR VOICES ARE HEARD. THEY MUST STOP BARRIERS TO THE BALLOT BOX AND PASS LAWS THAT MAKE IT EASIER, NOT HARDER, TO VOTE. THIS IS WHY WE MUST RESTORE THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT—SO THAT EVERY ELIGIBLE VOTER CAN CAST A BALLOT AND HAVE IT COUNTED. LEARN MORE AT VOTE DOT CIVIL RIGHTS DOT ORG.