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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Renew Voting Rights Act

August 6, 2009
Floor Statement
Rep. Maxine Waters [D-CA]: Mr. Speaker, I rise today with my colleagues to impart some history and context relative to the right to vote in America, an essential part of the democratic process. I thank each of my colleagues for joining me to discuss this issue.

Today, a series of Members will come to the floor to tell you the truth about the barriers, both past and present, that have prevented Americans from voting.

The Voting Rights Act is one of the most important laws enacted by our government in the history of our democracy, because it allows the people to address past and present disenfranchisement as well as disparate conditions that will affect the ability to exercise voting rights in the future.

Passage of H.R. 9 to reauthorize and renew the 1965 Voting Rights Act is critical to our democracy and our democratic form of government and the free exercise of the voting rights of all Americans.

Mr. Speaker, the stories that you and America will hear today will underscore why the Voting Rights Act is so important and must be renewed. You will hear stories from Members of Congress who were voting age prior to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that recount some of the extreme difficulties and egregious legal impediments that constrained their right to vote, and you will hear other stories about real people denied the right to vote.

Click the link to watch the floor statement.