Hastings’ Statement on the Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) released the following statement marking the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act:
“The Voting Rights Act was enacted on the simple premise that every American should be able to vote, period. For too long, entrenched racist policies prevented African Americans and other racial minorities from casting their ballots across the country. The Voting Rights Act changed that by establishing new protections for minority voters nationwide.
“More than half a century later, our country has regrettably slid backwards in the fight to ensure access to the ballot box. The promise of equality at the voting booth has been supplanted by efforts to suppress minority votes through arbitrary requirements that disproportionately affect African Americans and other minorities. The Supreme Court irresponsibly threw out a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, and Republicans continue to block any effort to reinstate updated provisions as urged by the Court. In recent years, the Republican voter suppression playbook has been in full swing in states nationwide, eliminating same-day registration, reducing early voting, targeting Sunday voting, doing away with pre-registration, fighting online voter registration and passing restrictive voter identification laws.
“We must make it easier to vote in America, not harder. Restrictive voting laws only serve to disenfranchise minority voters, and we must call out this shameful trend for what it is.
“Today, as our country celebrates the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, I reaffirm my commitment to protecting all Americans at the polls. I will continue to advocate for reforms to our electoral process that benefit – not suppress – the American electorate."
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.