San Francisco – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today to mark the 48th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act into law:
“On August 6, 1965, America took a giant step forward on the path to equality, liberty, and justice for all. With the stroke of his pen, President Johnson made the Voting Rights Act the law of the land, opening the doors of our polling places, our ballot boxes, and our democracy to all of America’s voters, regardless of race. As President Johnson declared that day, this landmark legislation was ‘a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that has ever been won on any battlefield.’
“Nearly half-a-century later, the struggle for voting rights continues. The recent Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act represented a step backwards for civil rights in our country. Yet the ruling placed the power to guarantee equal access to the ballot in the hands of Congress. Just as bipartisan majorities have done in the past, it is now up to a bipartisan coalition in Congress to revise, renew, and strengthen the Voting Rights Act.
“There is nothing more fundamental, more essential, and more necessary to the strength of our democracy than ensuring the right of every citizen to vote and the right of every vote to be counted as cast. As Democrats and Republicans, as America’s elected officials, it is our duty and our obligation to strengthen the Voting Rights Act, to build on the progress made 48 years ago, and to secure yet another triumph for freedom for the American people.”