(Richmond, Va.) – The Senate in the Commonwealth of Virginia passed the Voting Rights Act of Virginia today, a key step in ensuring equal access to the ballot box for all communities in the commonwealth. Gov. Northam is expected to sign the bill soon. The following is a statement from Marcia Johnson-Blanco, co-director of the Voting Rights Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:
“The senate passage of the Voting Rights Act of Virginia is a welcome victory for civil rights statewide, but most importantly, communities of color. This bill will ensure that all communities, no matter their racial and ethnic demographics, have an equal opportunity to cast their vote and have their voices heard. As the country and states reckon with our legacy of racial discrimination, this bill upon passage into law will serve as a model for the entire nation.”
The bill gives the Virginia attorney general preclearance to review any voting changes throughout the state, and will prevent discriminatory redistricting plans. Already, Virginia has enacted important legislation to repeal discriminatory voter ID requirements, expand early voting and implement automatic voter registrations.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.