Rep. Payne, Jr. celebrates 1965 Voting Rights Act

Aug 6, 2019 Issues: Local Issues
For Immediate Release                                                                                            Media Contact
August 6, 2019                                                                                                          Patrick Wright 
                                                                                                                                    (202) 225-3436 
Congressman Payne Jr.’s Statement on Voting Rights Act Anniversary 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today we celebrate the anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.  The most important right for citizens of every democracy is the right to choose their leaders.  The right to vote is the foundation of our democracy and one of the moral pillars of our country.  
In 1965, it was possible to pass bipartisan legislation to better the country.  A full 80 percent of Congressional Republicans voted for the Act.  They knew how to put country over party and voted to strengthen and protect the legal rights of American citizens, regardless of color or creed.  
It’s a spirit and drive that we need to bring back.  Right now, legislatures in states across the country are passing bills to undo key aspects of the Voting Rights Act.  They want to institute strict voter ID laws and gerrymander districts to stay in power.  These measures affect African American and Hispanic communities far more than any other.  Republicans in those legislatures want to limit who can vote so that they, the politicians, get to choose their voters instead of the voters who choose their politicians.  
That’s why I support our “For The People Act,” a bill that ensures equal access to the ballot, modernize voter registration and fight voter suppression.  We need to block these efforts of states to deny voters the right to the ballot with federal legislation that creates a consistent standard to determine who gets to vote.  It’s the people that make democracy strong and every legal citizen should be able to have their voice heard.  As Thomas Jefferson might say, that is a truth that is indeed self-evident.  
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