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Mark Herring Statement on 48th Anniv. of the Passage of the Voting Rights Act

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From the Mark Herring for AG campaign:

Democratic nominee for Attorney General, State Senator Mark Herring issued the following statement today celebrating the 48th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965:

“On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, a monumental law that helped the United States rid itself of state-sanctioned voter disenfranchisement. Forty-eight years later, the Voting Rights Act remains critical to ensuring that every citizen is free to exercise his or her constitutional right to vote.

“Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has severely weakened a key provision of this law that has kept Virginia’s elections free, fair and accessible. We have come a long way since 1965, but Virginia has not outgrown the Voting Rights Act and I remain steadfast in calling on Congress to rectify the court’s decision.

“Virginians need only look at our records to find a stark difference between me and my opponent Senator Mark Obenshain on the issue of voting rights. In response to the unacceptably long lines we saw in Virginia last November, I introduced legislation earlier this year that contained a number of common sense reforms to improve voter access to the polls and speed voting.  Mark Obenshain, as Chairman of the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee, led the charge against that bill and it was defeated in his committee.

“Mark Obenshain’s response was to champion a restrictive Voter ID bill, claiming that ‘voter fraud’ is rampant in Virginia despite no evidence to support that claim. Thanks to the Voting Rights Act, devices such as poll taxes and literacy tests are a thing of the past, but we must remain vigilant and oppose efforts to erect new barriers to the ballot box. Despite his claims to the contrary, Mark Obenshain’s Voter ID law is just that, a new barrier to the ballot box for many Virginia seniors, students and minorities.

“As Attorney General, I will always stand up to protect Virginians’ right to vote.”