FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 6, 2020
Virginia Leaders Commemorate the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act
Today, Joe Biden and Virginia leaders commemorated the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Virginia is one of few states whose Constitution automatically disenfranchises people who were convicted of a felony. However, thanks to Democratic leadership across the state, a number of actions have been taken and laws have been signed to expand access to voting for all Virginians and restore the voting rights of formerly incarcerated individuals. As president, Joe Biden will fight at the federal level to restore the Voting Rights Act and protect everyone’s right to vote.
Below are what Joe Biden and Virginia leaders are saying:
“Every eligible voter should be able to vote and have it counted,” said Joe Biden. “If you have the best ideas — you have nothing to hide. Let more people vote. It’s simple. As President, I will work to enact the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. The battle for the soul for America has many fronts; the right to vote is the most fundamental.”
“Unfortunately, after 2013’s disastrous Supreme Court decision in Shelby v. Holder, nearly half of the states have enacted restrictive voting laws that disproportionately impact communities of color. These laws, including onerous ID requirements and limitations on early voting, serve only to disenfranchise voters,” said Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03). “The Trump Administration has only encouraged this type of now legal voter suppression. That is why it is so important that we elect Joe Biden and a Democratic Congress this November, so he can sign into law the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act to restore the critical protections of the Voting Rights Act. There is no better way to honor John Lewis and the many others who fought, bled, and died to expand and protect the right to vote.”
“One of my proudest accomplishments as Governor was reversing Jim Crow Era disenfranchisement here in Virginia and restoring more voting rights than any governor in U.S. history. Fifty five years ago, the Voting Rights Act ensured in law the most basic civic duty for every American, regardless of skin color or ethnicity: the right to vote.” said Former Governor Terry McAuliffe. “Now, in the midst of the most consequential election in our lifetime, voting rights are under attack from the Supreme Court and Donald Trump. This fight is not over. That’s why it’s more important than ever to elect Joe Biden as president, who will fight to protect and expand access to the ballot box for all Americans.”
“The right to vote is the most sacred and fundamental right in our society. Our vote is our voice, our right and our power. Thanks to the Voting Rights Act, every American finally had the right to have a say in the direction of our country,” said Ms. Sandra Antoine, a restoration of rights activist. “But we cannot allow Jim Crow laws still in our books to continue disenfranchising communities of color. In Virginia, we have made great strides but we still have a ways to go. We need a partner in Washington who will fight to make it easier to cast a ballot, not cast doubt in the voting process. We need Joe Biden as president.”
Joe Biden’s full statement on the anniversary can be found HERE.