WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement today in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act:
"The Voting Rights Act was a historic act that had a profound impact on our nation. It ensured one of the most basic civil rights we hold as Americans – the right to vote. When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law 50 years ago today, he broke down one of the greatest barriers to democracy for minorities in America and ensured that all Americans would be able to have a say in the governance of our communities, our states, and our nation.
"As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this momentous legislation, we should focus on the work that remains to be done in safeguarding the fundamental right to vote and protecting voters from discriminatory practices. In the two years since the Supreme Court struck down key measures of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder, there has been an increase of blockades to the ballot box in multiple states that have encouraged and accelerated disenfranchisement. In Congress, we must make it a priority to extend the ability to vote, not limit it. That means increasing access to early voting and banning restrictive voter ID laws. It also means following the Golden Rule -- ensuring that we treat others the way we want to be treated. It’s time for Congress to do the right thing and come together to restore the full power of the Voting Rights Act."