The Center’s Statement on Voting

March 26, 2021

Almost 56 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Congressman John Lewis led tireless and courageous activists on the historic Selma to Montgomery March for Voting Rights. During that march, peaceful protesters were attacked by state troopers in what became known as “Bloody Sunday.”  The brutal beatings of protestors seeking basic civil rights galvanized Americans to support voting reform and urged Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

The voting law, passed in August 1965, ushered in a new era of civil rights:  all citizens were able to participate in self governance and express their will by voting. 

Any law that curtails the sacred right of all voters to participate in democracy, without obstacles, undermines our nation’s founding ideals.  Because of America’s history of denying the right to vote to African Americans, US officials at all levels of government need to take special care to ensure people of color do not face obstacles to voting — from simplifying voter registration and making polls accessible to preventing intimidation and harassment. 

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights will continue to promote free and fair voting access for all, and call for measures that ease, rather than restrict, access to the franchise.