*(NEW YORK, NY) – The following is a statement form Rev. Al Sharpton, President of the National Action Network (NAN):
“Fifty years ago today, the Voting Rights Act, a landmark piece of legislation, was signed into law. For the first time in our nation’s history, African Americans and other minorities’ voting rights were protected and guaranteed under federal legislation.
“Unfortunately, those same rights are under attack today. The Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder gutted the Voting Rights Act and endangered the tremendous progress our nation has made over the last five decades. That ruling is enabling unfair and biased voting laws in many states across the nation to reduce access to the polls. As the leading democracy in the world, voting should be free, fair and accessible to all. We cannot stand idly by as so-called voter identification laws, limits on registration drives and the reduction of early voting days intimidate minority communities and try to silence our voice.
“The National Action Network has made the issues of voter education and voter registration an integral part of our national agenda, and we will continue to push for more action including the passage of the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015. We will continue to put pressure on Washington to uphold the intent of the original Voting Rights Act so that the states cannot infringe on this most essential right: the right to vote. We cannot and will not let them take away the triumphs of the last 50 years.”