WASHINGTON—Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the reintroduction of the Voting Rights Advancement Act by Senator Patrick Leahy and Congresswoman Terri Sewell:
“We welcome the reintroduction of the Voting Rights Advancement Act and urge Congress to pass this critical legislation. Since the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision in Shelby County v. Holder four years ago, we have seen far too many efforts by state and local governments to restrict the right to vote for millions of Americans. The Voting Rights Advancement Act responds to the Shelby case by ensuring that states with a history of discriminatory election practices are once again subject to Justice Department preclearance.
Voting should transcend partisanship. The Voting Rights Act was passed with both Republican and Democratic support in 1965, and all four reauthorizations of the Voting Rights Act were signed into law by Republican presidents. No matter what policy issue we care most about, we get closer to these goals through the ballot box. The integrity of our democracy depends on ensuring that every eligible voter can participate in the electoral process. Passing the Voting Rights Advancement Act would be a major step toward restoring the right to vote and undoing the damage done by the Supreme Court’s Shelby decision.”
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.