Pelosi Statement on 49th Anniversary of Voting Rights Act

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement marking the 49th anniversary of the date the Voting Rights Act was signed into law on August 6, 1965:

“On this day in 1965, President Johnson and Members of Congress gathered in the Rotunda of the Capitol to assert the most fundamental right in our democracy: the right to vote.  As President Johnson said then, the passage of the Voting Rights Act marked ‘a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that has ever been won on any battlefield.’

“Forty-nine years after the signing of this landmark law, we are still fighting for the right of all Americans to participate in our democracy.  In too many places across the country, we have seen efforts to deny Americans their right to be heard at the ballot box; attempts to suppress the vote by raising new barriers, and dismantling vital protections.

“Voting rights are essential to who we are as Americans, to the cause of equality and to the strength of our democracy.  The Supreme Court’s decision weakening the Voting Rights Act must not go unanswered.  Congress must act swiftly to pass a renewed, revised and strengthened Voting Rights Act, and ensure that every citizen has the right to vote and every vote is counted as cast.”