Ninety-four years ago this month, the League of Women Voters was founded by Carrie Chapman Catt with the goal to secure the right to vote for women. After decades of debate and protest, the 19th amendment became law in August 1920. The League of Women Voters of Berkeley-Albany-Emeryville marks this anniversary with a renewed commitment to protect the right to vote and to make our elections fair, free and accessible to all eligible citizens.
“We are excited to mark nearly 100 years of the League, and with it, women’s suffrage,” said Nancy Bickel, president of the League of Women Voters of Berkeley-Albany-Emeryville . “But our work continues. The right to vote remains under attack and the League remains a defender of our democracy, fighting to ensure all Americans can cast a ballot.”
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision which gutted key components of the monumental Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965. The Court’s decision erased fundamental protections against racial discrimination in voting that had been effective for more than 40 years, and opened the floodgates for a wave of attacks on voters.
In January 2014, members of Congress introduced a bill designed to modernize the VRA through common sense solutions. This bipartisan legislation was carefully crafted to protect the rights of all voters from discrimination and repair the damage to the Voting Rights Act inflicted by the Supreme Court’s decision. The updated bill seeks to better protect all voters against discrimination at the ballot box and ensure Americans are guaranteed their right to vote.
“As we celebrate our 94th year, we call upon Congress to swiftly pass the bipartisan bill to modernize the Voting Rights Act, and to protect Americans’ right to vote,” said Bickel. “We need modern, common sense fixes to protect everyone’s right to vote and make sure that our elections are free, fair and accessible for every American.”
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