|SCDP Launches Petition on Voting Rights Act|
|Written by Staff Writer|
|Friday, 05 July 2013 13:22|
Party leaders ask voters around the state to join them in urging SC Congressional Delegation to protect the right to vote, extend pre-clearance in VRA
Columbia, SC - The South Carolina Democratic Party has launched a petition effort to call upon South Carolina's Congressional delegation to do what is in the best interest of the state by extending pre-clearance in the VRA and ensuring equal access to the right to vote regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, social status or personal wealth.
"For nearly 48 years, the VRA has stopped the proliferation of laws that would make it more difficult for many to vote in South Carolina. That protection is just as important today as it was 48 years ago," said SCDP Chairman Jaime Harrison. "Congress must act immediately to protect the voting rights for millions of Americans by extending the 'pre-clearance' mechanisms that have stopped so many efforts to restrict voting rights in our state over the last five decades."
In 2006, Democrats and Republicans were able to come together in a bipartisan fashion to reauthorize the law- passing the House by a vote of 390-33 and the Senate by a vote of 98-0.
"The Supreme Court didn't say that we no longer need this important provision in the Voting Rights Act, they said it needed updating," said First Vice Chair Kaye Koonce. "South Carolina's federal delegation has a chance to put politics aside, stand up for fairness, and protect the fundamental right to vote that our country was built upon."
The SCDP released the petition to its members, and to voters around the state, to raise awareness of the impact that inaction could have for voters in South Carolina if Section 4 is not properly revised.
"We cannot extoll the virtues of Democracy and the sanctity of the right to vote to the rest of the world if we fail to extend these same rights and protections to our own people," said Second Vice Chair Melissa Watson. "It is time for the South Carolina Delegation to stand up and do what is right. Work together now to revise Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act!"
The SCDP petition will remain online for South Carolinians to sign until Congress has acted to fairly revise the Voting Rights Act.
"The members of South Carolina's Congressional Delegation have said that they support voting rights and fairness in our country, and appreciate the work that so many have done to advance civil rights in America," said SCDP Third Vice Chair Tyler Jones. "Now is the time for South Carolina's representatives to take action on their rhetoric and protect the right to vote in South Carolina."
Full text of the SCDP petition to the Congressional delegation is below. South Carolinians can add their names at https://www.change.org/petitions/south-carolina-congressional-delegation-act-now-to-protect-voting-rights-for-all.
To: South Carolina Congressional Delegation
This petition is to urge you, as a member of the South Carolina Congressional Delegation, to follow the mandate given to you in the 15thAmendment of our Constitution. We ask you to work in the best interest of all South Carolinians to strengthen Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act and protect the right to vote of all citizens.
South Carolina cannot change its past Jim Crow laws and voting rights violations, however you can lead the nation to strengthen protections under the Voting Rights Act and secure the cornerstone of our democracy- the right to vote.
We, the people of South Carolina, encourage you to work together in a bipartisan manner to strengthen Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act and protect the right to vote for all Americans. Inaction is not an option!!