Voting Rights Act Reauthorization

Equality in voting is fundamental to the American democratic system. For more than 40 years, the Voting Rights Act has protected the right of every American citizen to cast an informed vote. Consequently, the NAACP strongly encourages Congress to swiftly reauthorize the Voting Rights Act (Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006 [S. 2703/H.R. 9]).

Although the reauthorizing legislation was introduced in Congress on May 2, 2006, on Wednesday, June 21, 2006, a small band of obstructionists in the House of Representatives hampered the reauthorization process by stalling H.R. 9. These congressional obstructionists—like Representatives Lynn Westmorland (GA), Charlie Norwood (GA) and others—represent retrogressive forces that America hasn't seen at this level since the 1960s.

Many of those trying to derail this bill represent states with the most egregious records of discrimination in voting. Their actions would return us to a time when the rights of racial and ethnic minority Americans-specifically the right to vote-were not protected or enforced.

Leaders in the House of Representatives must move past this small group of obstructionists and get the bill back on track immediately. The nation's continued progress towards equality demands this.

Starting on Wednesday, June 27, 2006, the NAACP will join People for the American Way and the National Education Association to hand-deliver signed petitions gathered from around the country to the House leadership.

Tell Congress to stop stalling and renew the Voting Rights Act. Please sign the petition now to tell Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, and Majority Leader, John Boehner, to stand up and lead the effort to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act!

Dr. John H. Jackson
Chief Policy Officer


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