Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten on Bipartisan Voting Rights Bill

For Release: 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Contact:

Marcus Mrowka
202-879-4447; 202-531-0689 (cell)
mmrowka@aft.org

"Restoring the Voting Rights Act preserves the fundamental right of every American to participate in our democracy."

WASHINGTON—Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten on bipartisan legislation to restore provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

"Restoring the Voting Rights Act preserves the fundamental right of every American to participate in our democracy. This bipartisan legislation is a step in the right direction and is essential after a narrow majority of the Supreme Court struck at the heart of the law last year.

"For nearly 50 years, the Voting Rights Act has enshrined the right to free and fair elections in our country. The tests and devices that blocked ballot access in the 1960s may be largely gone, but 21st-century tactics to disenfranchise Americans—restrictive voter ID laws, outcome-driven redistricting, limiting voting hours and opportunities, and spreading misinformation about polling places and times—still disproportionately affect African-American, Latino, immigrant and low-income voters, as well as students and seniors. The protections embedded in this fundamental civil rights law are as important today as they were 50 years ago."