Schakowsky Statement on the Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

August 6, 2018
Press Release

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Chief Deputy Whip and a Vice Chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force, released the following statement marking the anniversary of Voting Rights Act of 1965 being signed into law:

“Today marks the 53rd anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed into law on August 6, 1965, by President Lyndon B. Johnson. For over half a century, this bill has protected Americans’ sacred right to vote against systematic efforts to stymie it. Despite the progress made by the Voting Rights Act and the amendments that have built on it since then, many Americans still face discrimination at the ballot box. Our voting rights are under attack by threats both foreign and domestic. Since the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court decision, the floodgates of voter discrimination have been reopened. Limitations such as voter ID laws, cuts to early voting, and a reduction in the number of polling places have been instated to suppress the vote. Instead of working to expand access to this most fundamental rite of citizenship, these laws – which would not have passed muster before Shelby – are designed to keep people out. It is no secret these anti-democratic policies hit low-income communities and communities of color the hardest.

“In President Lyndon B. Johnson’s own words, “There is no moral issue. It is wrong, deadly wrong, to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this county.”  As a Vice Chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force, I have made it one of my priorities in Congress to ensure that voting rights in America are not infringed upon, and that constantly work to bring more and more Americans into the democratic process. Today, on the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, I encourage all of my Congressional colleagues to do the same.”