Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement recognizing the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act:

“Having free and fair elections is essential for our democracy, and for 50 years now, the Voting Rights Act has played a critical role in protecting individuals’ right to vote regardless of race, ethnic background, or level of income.  In Congress, we must do all we can to build on the Voting Rights Act and make it easier for folks to vote rather than make it harder with Voter ID laws and other discriminatory practices.  That is why I am a cosponsor of H.R. 3364, introduced by Rep. Rick Larsen, which would allow voters to sign a written statement to affirm their identity if they do not have an ID.  I also support the Voter Empowerment Act of 2015 introduced by Rep. John Lewis which would require states to have online voter registration and make grants available to increase voter registration.  I understand the importance of promoting balance, openness, and fairness in elections and I will fight for policies that protect and improve upon the Voting Rights Act.”