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Rep. John Lewis Commemorates 47th Anniversary of Voting Rights Act

August 6, 2012
Press Release

    “On August 6th, 47 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law.  We must never, ever forget that people right here in this country suffered, struggled and died simply trying to register and vote. They were trying to exercise a right guaranteed to them by the Constitution but denied to them by the unjust laws and practices of local and state governments."

    “In this election year, only a few decades later, there is once again a systematic, deliberate attempt to make it almost impossible for some among us to vote. Yet again, some local and state governments have designed and implemented legal barriers that will lock millions of Americans out of the democratic process.”

    “Each and every one of us, not only those who are affected, but all Americans who believe in justice must do all that is in our power to resist these efforts to disenfranchise our fellow citizens. Know the law in your jurisdiction, organize yourselves to help others who might struggle to comply with new laws, and help people get to the polls to elect the officials of their choice on Election Day.      

   “The vote is precious, almost sacred.  It is the most powerful, non-violent tool we have in a democratic society. The struggle for equal voting access in America demonstrates that organized participation can defeat systematic efforts to deny citizens of their constitutional rights. Nothing can stop a committed and determined people who insist that equal justice must prevail.”