Cummings Celebrates Rosa Parks Statue Unveiling, Urges Vigilance on Right to Vote

Feb 27, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                              

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement celebrating the unveiling of Rosa Parks’ Statue in the Capitol and reminding Americans that the work of the Civil Rights Movement is not yet complete:

“Today, our country pauses to commemorate the courage of one, and to urge justice for all.

“As we celebrate the unveiling of the Rosa Parks statue in Statuary Hall in our nation’s Capitol, across the street, the Supreme Court of the United States will consider a challenge to the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which was passed in 1965 and repeatedly reauthorized by Congress to address widespread and systemic voting discrimination.

“The irony of these two occasions couldn’t be starker.  Rosa Parks’ decision to remain seated empowered us to stand, but the struggle she began is not over – and we must continue to fight to protect the fundamental right to vote for generations yet unborn.

“The clearest argument in support of Section 5 was made just months ago when Americans nationwide endured long waits, often in uncomfortable conditions, just to cast their ballots.  I hope our Justices remember the November elections and protect the Voting Rights Act.”

As part of a broad effort to promote the integrity of our nation’s elections, Ranking Member Cummings launched an investigation last year into alleged efforts to suppress the vote through voter registration fraud and voter challenges.  The investigation looked into reported allegations of widespread voter registration fraud by Strategic Allied Consulting, a company owned by longtime GOP consultant Nathan Sproul.  It also examined  the actions of True the Vote, a Tea Party organization that claims to promote “voter integrity” efforts.  True the Vote sought to make it harder for Americans to vote by challenging the registration of thousands of legitimate voters across the country before Election Day.  They also deployed volunteers across the country to challenge access to the polls for legitimate voters.

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