Thursday, June 30, 2016

CONYERS Renews Call To Restore The Voting Rights Act

"Give Us The Ballot"
Detroit, MI – On Tuesday, following the third anniversary of the Supreme Court Shelby County v. Holder decision, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) was joined by Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), local community leaders and policy experts, for a discussion on restoring and strengthening the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In addition to Congressman John Conyers, Jr. and Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, panelists included Reverend Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP; Justin Levitt, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice; Ari Berman, Senior Contributing Writer for The Nation Magazine; Michael J. Steinberg, Esq., Michigan ACLU; and Adam Gitlin, Democracy Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice.

“Voter suppression tactics are a blatant attack on our democratic system and as our population becomes more diverse, these tactics appear to become more prevalent,” said Ranking Member Conyers. “Everyone deserves an opportunity to participate in our democracy which is why it’s so important to protect, fully restore and strengthen this fundamental right.”

U.S. Representative
Brenda Lawrence
“In 2013, the Supreme Court suspended a critical provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Nationwide, Republican-led state legislatures have enacted more and more egregious laws to restrict voter access,” said Congresswoman Lawrence. “Laws that disproportionately impact immigrants, minorities, working families and the elderly. Every American deserves a vote and all elections matter. The forum sought to educate and empower our communities, sending a clear message that we will stand against any and all laws that seek to limit and disenfranchise our constituents.”

“The issue of the vote in 2016 must be unbridled and unlimited,” says Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP. “No voter suppression techniques can be allowed to push back the progress of our nation. The stakes are too high and the price of Liberty is too costly.”

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©
Congressman Conyers was a cosponsor of the original Voting Rights Act of 1965, landmark legislation to provide equal access to the ballot box for all Americans. On June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court Shelby County v. Holder decision struck down section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which effectively resulted in the suspension of the section 5 “Preclearance” enforcement program. This opened the way for states across the country to immediately pass egregious voting laws to disenfranchise voters. In response to the decision, Ranking Member Conyers and House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) introduced H.R. 885, the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act and it was reintroduced this CongressThe bill makes all states and jurisdictions eligible for coverage formula based on voting violations in the last 15 years.

Congressman John Conyers, Jr. is currently developing an agenda to expand voting rights, reform the system of campaign finance and ensure appropriate investments in the voting infrastructure by 2020.

Check back for video update of Mr. Conyers.

Click here to watch Ari Berman speak on the Voting Rights Act.

Click here to watch the rest of the forum.

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

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