Press Releases

Beyer Commemorates 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

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Washington, August 6, 2015 | comments

Congressman Don Beyer issued the following statement, expressing his concern about the continuing erosion of the Voting Rights Act (VRA):

“Our fundamental belief in the right to vote is part of what defines us as Americans. Legislative accomplishments brought about some of the best moments in our history. One of those moments came a half century ago today, when President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act to prevent state and local governments from denying black men and women suffrage. 

“For 48 years, bipartisan efforts in Congress consistently reaffirmed and upheld the VRA’s principles of one man, one vote; until 2013, when Shelby v. Alabama stripped the VRA of its critical preclearance tool.  In the two years since, without federal preclearance, partisan state governments are manipulating state code to make voting more challenging. Even in the Commonwealth of Virginia, our strict new ID laws and redistricting quagmire should serve as an example of the need for greater, not less, federal involvement.

“We took an important step in the march to expand civil rights fifty years ago today. It is our responsibility to fight to uphold those rights for all men and women and resist the recent attempts to roll back that progress as we continue marching forward.”

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