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Rep. John Lewis on the Immediate Need to Restore the Voting Rights Act

July 17, 2015
Press Release

Across the country, there is a deliberate, systematic attempt to make it harder and more difficult for the disabled, students, seniors, minorities, poor and rural voters to participate in the democratic process.  We must not let that happen. 

That is why we need to repair and restore the Voting Rights Act now more than ever before.  The burden should not be placed on citizens whose rights are violated to mount their own defense. 

As leaders of this Congress, we have the power to change that.  We can make access to the ballot box more simple and more fair. The right to vote is the most powerful, nonviolent tool we have in a democratic society.

My own mother, father, grandparents and great-grandparents could not register to vote.  My father died before he was ever able to cast a vote in this country.  We must not slip back to that dark past.  We have to throw off the burden of fear, and continue to move forward.

As leaders of this country, we have a moral obligation to repair the Voting Rights Act.  It is our duty in a democratic society to open up the political process and let every citizen have a say in their own future. 

That is something every American and all of us here in the Congress can agree upon.  We must do this now, and we must do it on our watch.  It is what the people of this country deserve.  Thank you.