WASHINGTON—American Federation of Government Employees National Vice President for Women’s and Fair Practices Augusta Y. Thomas issued the following statement regarding yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA) legislation.
“Although it’s one year after the Supreme Court did away with key parts of the Voting Rights Act, it’s not cause for celebration. It is a wake-up call for us to fight harder than ever before to make sure we keep discriminatory practices away from the ballot box. It is critical that we protect the right to vote for all Americans.
“We must keep our right to vote and the electoral process fair, equitable and most importantly, inclusive of all. Closing polling places in areas with high minority populations and creating new requirements that disenfranchise the elderly and less fortunate, do not reflect the values of this country. This act has always received support from both sides of the aisle – it is sad that some of our leaders chose to make the right to vote a partisan issue.
“While the Senate hearing is a step in the right direction, we urge our Congressional leaders to not stand idly by and let years of progress fall to the wayside."
Through its Women’s and Fair Practices Departments, AFGE continues to work on issues related to voter protection, including advocating for legislation that would restore voting rights protections gutted by last year’s Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder.