Home 2013 races Mark Herring Statement on 48th Anniv. of the Passage of the Voting...

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


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.”

  • From the Northam for LG campaign:

    Senators Marsh and Northam voice support landmark legislation

    Richmond, VA – On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, making it illegal to devise hurdles preventing African-Americans from voting. Today, State Senator and candidate for Lt. Governor Ralph Northam joined his colleague and civil rights hero, State Senator Henry Marsh (D-Richmond), in commemorating the 48th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.

    The landmark civil rights bill put an end to poll taxes, literacy tests, property qualifications, and discriminatory “good character” tests. The Voting Rights Act has proven to be an effective safeguard to ensure Americans can freely participate in the political process.  

    “Today we must recognize how far we have come since the Voting Rights Act passed and how we must remain vigilant in protecting the right to vote for all Americans,” said civil rights leader and state Senator Henry Marsh. “Sadly we have seen recent efforts to undermine the election process and limit participation for political gain. Ralph Northam will be a Lt. Governor who will uphold the promise of the Voting Rights Act and make sure that Virginians have the ability to cast their votes free of discrimination.”

    “On this day we celebrate the success of the Voting Rights Act and honor those that fought and struggled to make it a reality,” said Senator Northam. “Voting is the fundamental right of every American and we must guard against attempts to complicate the voting process. It means a lot to have Senator Marsh stand with me in this campaign and I will continue to work with him to ensure the basic civil rights of all Virginians are protected.”


  • Virginia gubernatorial candidate released the following statement on the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act:

    “Forty-eight years ago today the Voting Rights Act was signed into law, a major step forward in protecting the voting rights of countless Americans and Virginians. This important piece of legislation has been championed by both Democrats and Republicans alike, and its reauthorization in 2006 was one of the few recent bipartisan accomplishments we have seen from Washington.

    “But while significant progress has been made, much more work remains to truly secure the right to vote for all Americans without the risk of disenfranchisement. I was extremely disappointed with the Supreme Court decision this summer to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, and I continue to urge Congress to act quickly to draft new legislation to rectify this decision.

    “Virginia is stronger when all of its citizens are able to exercise their freedom of speech at the ballot box. I am committed to protecting these rights and increasing opportunities for all Virginians.”