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Rep. John Lewis's Statement on His Absence from the Georgia State Observance of the King Holiday

January 13, 2006
Press Release

January 13, 2006 - Rep. Lewis was invited to participate in the annual state observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. day of service today at the State Capitol in Atlanta. He decided not to participate for the following reason:

"I believe it was too great a contradiction," said Rep. Lewis, "to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King in one hour and pass the Georgia photo ID bill in the next. The photo ID bill is a modern-day poll tax, and the insistence of Georgia Republicans in passing legislation that will disenfranchise thousands of elderly, disabled, rural, poor and minority voters in Georgia is a stain on our democracy. It shows no true regard for the legacy, life, and sacrifice of Dr. King or for all those who struggled during the Civil Rights Movement to bring greater justice to the ballot box in America."