White House: Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015

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President Obama

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Introduction of the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015

This August, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Voting Rights Act. As the President has noted, ‘the Voting Rights Act was one of the crowning achievements of our democracy, the result of Republican and Democratic efforts.’ Yet 50 years later, laws are being passed across the country that make it harder to vote. As the President said at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, ‘the Voting Rights Act, the culmination of so much blood, so much sweat and tears, the product of so much sacrifice in the face of wanton violence, the Voting Rights Act stands weakened’ while charging Congress to ‘pledge to make it their mission to restore that law this year.’

The Administration applauds today’s efforts by Members of both the House and Senate to take up this charge to restore the promise of the Voting Rights Act to repair the damage done to this centerpiece of our democracy and honor the sacrifices made by so many who were willing to die to protect the rights it guarantees. Congress should give this bill the consideration it deserves and work together to protect that most essential right upon which our country was founded: the right to vote.

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