For Immediate Release

Civil and Human Rights Coalition Slams GOP Platform for Advancing Voting Discrimination, Ignoring VRA Restoration

WASHINGTON - Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to the Republican Party’s adoption of its 2016 platform, which calls for discriminatory voting laws and procedures and fails to acknowledge the need to restore the Voting Rights Act (VRA):

“Ensuring the right to vote for all Americans has historically been a bipartisan issue. In fact, this month we’re commemorating the 10th anniversary of President George W. Bush signing a reauthorization of the VRA, which Congress passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

But the platform adopted by the Republican Party pays no homage to the GOP’s legacy as the party of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.  Instead of calling for a desperately needed restoration of the VRA, it doubles down on procedural tricks and barriers to voting that disenfranchise communities of color.    

As we approach the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the VRA, we’ve seen resurgence in these tricks.  As we’ve documented in our recent report, Warning Signs, there are five states that could determine 84 Electoral College votes and control of the Senate that, once freed from any oversight from Shelby, have engaged in deceptive and sophisticated efforts to disenfranchise voters that will have an impact on the 2016 election.  

The GOP can’t rely on riding a tidal wave of voting discrimination into the 2016 election.  When lawmakers return from their nearly two-month summer recess, they must come together and prioritize restoring the law before the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the VRA.”


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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. Through advocacy and outreach to targeted constituencies, The Leadership Conference works toward the goal of a more open and just society – an America as good as its ideals.

The Leadership Conference is a 501(c)(4) organization that engages in legislative advocacy.  It was founded in 1950 and has coordinated national lobbying efforts on behalf of every major civil rights law since 1957.

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