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Higgins highlights importance of Voting Rights Act

by jmaloni

Press release

Wed, Mar 6th 2013 08:50 am

Calls on Congress to take steps to improve access to the democratic process

Congressman Brian Higgins, NY-26, spoke Tuesday from the House Floor to call on Congress to take steps to eliminate barriers to voting and ensure that every American who wants to cast a ballot is able to do so. He also spoke in support of preserving the integrity of the Voting Rights Act, whose Section 5 is currently in question before the Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder.

Higgins returned this week from the annual Faith & Politics Institute Congressional Pilgrimage, which took a delegation of Congressional representatives on a tour of civil rights landmarks in Alabama.

The text of Higgins' remarks is below:

"Mr. Speaker,

"This weekend I joined a trip led by Congressman John Lewis to some of the landmark sites of the civil rights struggle, culminating in a walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the 48th anniversary of his historic march.

"The trip underscored the importance of the Voting Rights Act, which is responsible for a much of the progress we have made toward eliminating voter discrimination, and the need for the Supreme Court to uphold Section 5 of the law in the case pending before it.

"Meanwhile, in Congress we should be working to eliminate the inexcusably long lines at polling places across the country and ensure that every American who wants to cast a ballot is able to do so.

"Decades ago, Congressman Lewis helped lead the fight for the idea that all Americans should be able to participate in our democratic process. It is my hope that the Supreme Court and this Congress will honor that struggle in the years ahead."

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