By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Saturday, August 6, marked the 51st anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Democratic Presidential nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton (D) issued a statement in which she said she will fight to repair the Voting Rights Act.
Former Secretary Clinton said, “Fifty-one years after the Voting Rights Act was signed into law, Americans are now facing the most systematic effort to curtail those rights since the era of Jim Crow. Make no mistake, new voter restriction laws in seventeen states have replaced poll taxes and literacy tests as a thinly veiled attempt to achieve an old objective: disenfranchising African Americans, Latinos, low-income people, young people, and people with disabilities.”
Presidential nominee Clinton continued, “But we are fighting back. Last week, a court struck down North Carolina’s voter ID requirement, saying it was designed to ‘target African Americans with almost surgical precision.’ Similar restrictions have recently been overturned in Wisconsin, Texas, Michigan, North Dakota, and Kansas after courts found they were intended to discriminate as well.”
The former First Lady said, “This November, the notion that every American has a voice in shaping our future is at stake. Donald Trump supports discriminatory voting restrictions — and actually claims that without them in place, the results of American elections should be questioned. It’s a dangerous attempt to undermine the legitimacy of our democracy.” “I have a very different view. I believe America is stronger when we expand access to the ballot box, not restrict it. That’s why I’ll fight to repair the Voting Rights Act, expand early voting, and introduce universal, automatic voter registration.”
Clinton concluded, “Upon signing the Voting Rights Act in 1965, President Johnson said the right to vote ‘is one which no American, true to our principles, can deny.’ He was right.”
US Representative Terri A. Sewell (D-Selma) said on social media, “In 1965 the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge forced the nation to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965. What now?”
Congresswoman Sewell introduced the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 to attempt to restore some of the restrictions on state and local governments in southern states, after the US Supreme Court struck down the preclearance section of the original Voting Rights Act in the landmark decision: “Shelby County versus Holder.” Shelby County successfully sued the US Justice Department after a disputed redistricting of the City of Calera.
Rep. Sewell said on Twitter, “In the 51st anniversary of the signing of the VRA, we no longer have the protections it promised.
On Saturday, Rep. Sewell said that she had, “Just returned from visiting our Troops in Kabul, Afghanistan with congressional delegation led by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. So thankful to our service members for their service and sacrifice!”
Sewell, Clinton and many Democrats object to Alabama’s photo ID requirement.
Alabama voters must provide a valid photo ID in order to vote in the November 8, Presidential election or to vote in any election including the August 23, Mayor and City Council elections in many towns across Alabama.
If you do not have a valid photo ID, your local Board of Registrars can provide you with a free voter ID. Contact the Alabama Secretary of State’s office for assistance or for more information. Forms of photo ID accepted at the polls include valid: driver’s license; Alabama photo voter ID card; state issued ID (any state); federal issued ID; US passport; employee ID from Federal Government, State of Alabama, County, Municipality, Board, or other entity of this state; student or employee ID from a public or private college or university in the State of Alabama (including postgraduate technical or professional schools); Military ID; or Tribal ID. An expired driver’s license is not acceptable so make sure to check your license to make sure that it is current.
A recent court decision overturning North Carolina’s controversial photo ID law, has called in to question if such photo ID requirements are actually constitutional.
Hillary Clinton faces Republican nominee Donald Trump in the General Election on November 8.
Congresswoman Sewell represents Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District.