Washington D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement commemorating the 51st anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act (VRA):
August 5, 2016
“Tomorrow, our country celebrates the 1965 signing of the most successful piece of civil rights legislation in our nation’s history. On this significant anniversary, it is important to remember that any barriers to voting are unacceptable. Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of any democracy, and here in the U.S. equal access at the ballot box is critical to the future success of our country. In recent years we have seen the VRA come under attack, most notably in the case of Shelby County v. Holder when the Supreme Court invalided a crucial centerpiece of the VRA that helped to ensure that states would not discriminate against certain voters. Throughout my time in Congress, I have been a vocal advocate for voting rights, and I remain committed to doing all I can to restore and strengthen the VRA to ensure that no voter experiences discrimination.
“We need elections where the issues are what matter, and campaigns compete on the quality of their ideas. In the 114th Congress, I have supported numerous efforts to protect and expand upon voting rights at the federal level including cosponsoring Rep. Terri Sewell’s Voting Rights Advancement Act and Rep. John Lewis’s Voter Empowerment Act. As a member of the Voting Rights Caucus, I look forward to finding new ways to work with my colleagues to support our election system so that every voter is protected.”