ACLU Comment on 56th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

August 6, 2021 10:15 am

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WASHINGTON — Today marks the 56th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Sophia Lin Lakin, Deputy Director of the ACLU Voting Rights Project, said:

“Today marks 56 years since the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This landmark legislation was designed to enforce voting rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution, and to secure the right to vote for racial minorities throughout the country, especially in the South.

“But in 2013, the Supreme Court in Shelby v. Holder gutted a key part of the Act, which has allowed states and localities with the worst records of discrimination to change their voting laws without critical procedural safeguards against discrimination. Since that time, wave after wave of discriminatory voting laws and practices have buffeted this nation. These attacks on the right to vote have intensified: This past year alone more than 400 anti-voter bills have been introduced in 48 states that erect unnecessary barriers for people to register to vote, vote by mail, or vote in person. And last month, the Supreme Court issued a decision that weakened another key provision of the Voting Rights Act, compromising our ability to challenge discriminatory voting laws in court.

“The time to act is now. To secure access to the ballot, Congress and President Biden must pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The sacred right to vote must be protected.”

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