WASHINGTON - Our Revolution today joined the nation in commemorating the 53rd anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The historic legislation cleared barriers to the ballot box for scores of disenfranchised African-Americans and was among the most pivotal civil rights measures ever passed. Our Revolution President Nina Turner issued the following statement:
“We are not only pausing to remember and celebrate our history, we are doing the work to ensure the Voting Rights Act remains a potent defense in the fight to expand the franchise. Persons convicted of a felony are barred for life from voting in Florida. This means roughly 1.4 million Floridians are locked out of our democracy. Led by Desmond Meade, a returning citizen, the Voting Restoration Amendment (Amendment 4) ballot measure gives Florida voters the chance to return the eligibility to vote to their friends, family, and neighbors who have repaid their debt to society.
“In addition to supporting ballot measures such as Florida’s Voting Restoration Amendment, we are also working to transform the Democratic Party. We are pushing the party to truly live up to its ‘big tent’ label by ensuring primaries are transparent and fair.
“While we remember the significance of the VRA, we also recognize that progress is not enshrined. We must constantly work to force our nation to live up to all that it’s promised to be. Since scores of Americans are barred from voting, and since Election Day is not a holiday, meaning many people in retail jobs must choose between a paycheck and the ballot box, there is much to be done to ensure voting is a fundamental right, not a lofty ideal. In addition to supporting ballot measures that expand the franchise, we will support candidates who oppose restrictive voting laws and those who believe that our nation is best when all eligible voters have an opportunity to participate in elections that are free, fair and accessible.”