U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján
U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:
SANTA FE – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement today celebrating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act:
“Fifty years ago today, at a time when millions of people across the nation were disenfranchised because of the color of their skin, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the historic Voting Rights Act. The tireless efforts of so many brave civil rights activists were enshrined in a law that would protect the sacred right to vote. While the VRA has been reauthorized five times, with bipartisan support every time, it no longer enjoys the support it once had from Republicans in Congress, as they now stand as in the way of strengthening this critical law that has been weakened by the Supreme Court.
“While times have changed over the last 50 years, voter disenfranchisement remains a challenge of today. Tactics such as voter ID laws, purging people from the voting rolls, and restricting voting hours and registration have made it harder to vote, particularly for young people, disabled Americans, and people of color. Restoring the Voting Rights Act can ensure a future where all can exercise their fundamental right. Passing the Voter Rights Advancement Act will protect vulnerable communities from discriminatory practices and provide oversight for jurisdictions with a record of voter suppression.
“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act becoming law, it is time to restore this successful piece of civil rights legislation.”