For Immediate Release
Common Causers to Rally for Voting Rights in Roanoke
WASHINGTON - Common Cause activists will be among hundreds of citizens gathering in Roanoke, VA’s Elmwood Park on Thursday to urge Rep. Bob Goodlatte – and all members of Congress – to restore the federal Voting Rights Act to full strength.
For nearly 50 years, this landmark law ensured the right to vote for every eligible American. But two years ago, the Supreme Court overturned a key portion of the Act, removing a requirement that states and localities with long histories of racial and other discrimination submit proposed voting law changes to federal authorities for clearance. It did so in the face of thousands of pages of evidence submitted to Congress showing discriminatory practices – through 2006.
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“For nearly a half-century, the Voting Rights Act worked,” said Common Cause President Miles Rapoport. “It brought millions of people into full membership in our democracy and prevented thousands of discriminatory practices from taking hold in states across the country. But the right to vote remains in jeopardy. That’s why, with overwhelming bipartisan support, Congress reauthorized the law in 2006. It’s why Congress needs to act again to repair the damage done to the law by the Supreme Court.
“New legislation, in keeping with the Supreme Court’s mandate, has been introduced. It would restore the Act’s protections. The right to vote is not a Democratic or Republican matter; it’s an American guarantee.”
For more information on Thursday’s rally in Roanoke, please go to: www.VRAforToday.org
Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.