Stand Up for Voting Rights

“There never will be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers.” - Susan B. Anthony

This July will mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a momentous act by Congress prohibiting discrimination on the basis of color, religion, sex, or national origin in employment, education (except for sex discrimination in education, which would have to wait until Title IX in 1972), and access to public facilities, including restaurants, transportation and hotels. Title I of the Act took aim at the discriminatory effect of state voting laws which had been used to suppress minority voting rights.

Yet today, states are enacting new voting laws which have a discriminatory effect on women, students, and minority populations. It’s time for Congress to take a stance once again to clarify that voter suppression and voting discrimination will not be tolerated!

Look at North Carolina, which has enacted one of the strictest voting laws: The state's own board of elections says 64 percent of the women registered to vote in North Carolina lack the required ID, as compared to 33 percent of their male counterparts. This means they may have problems voting when the law goes in to effect in 2016. Our members of Congress can and should do something about these nonsensical and unnecessary state voting restrictions.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 – passed just one year after the Civil Rights Act to guarantee the right to vote – was supposed to stop states from passing these kinds of voting restrictions. But a recent Supreme Court decision has weakened the law, gutting the spirit but leaving the name.

That's why Congress needs to pass H.R. 3899/S. 1945, an amendment to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which would require key states that have demonstrated a history of voting discrimination to obtain preclearance prior to any voting changes.

Tell your members of Congress: Support H.R. 3899/S. 1945 so we can fix the Supreme Court decision.

The Voting Rights Act has a long history of bipartisan support, and this bill should be no different. We must urge Congress to act today to ensure that every voter is treated equally and fairly.

The 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act is historic. Thousands of people took a stance for civil rights 50 years ago – can you take two minutes to ask your members of Congress to protect those rights today?

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