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Congressman Bobby Scott

Representing the 3rd District of Virginia

Rep. Scott Pleased with Passage of the VRA

July 13, 2006
Press Release
(Washington D.C.)- Congressman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, (D-VA-3), issued this statement following the passage of the Federal Voting Rights Act re-authorization.

"As the Supreme Court has noted, ‘No right is more precious in a free country than having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined."’ [Wesberry v. Sanders, 376 U.S. 1, 17-18 (1964).]

"Poll taxes, literacy tests and other discriminatory schemes have been effective in closing the ballot box to blacks and other minorities. The Voting Rights Act dismantled these schemes and barriers. As a result, since 1964, the number of black elected officials has increased from just 300 nationwide to more than 9,100 today. The Act also opened the political process for many of the nearly 6,000 Latinos who now hold public office, including more than 250 who serve at the state or federal level, as well as, other minority elected officials."

"In my home state of Virginia there was not a single African American in the state General Assembly in 1965. Now, 40 years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, there are 17 members of the Virginia Black Legislative Caucus. Clearly, these numbers show that many of the provisions in the Voting Rights Act are effective."

 

The House passed the civil rights legislation by a vote of 390 to 33.

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