The Voters Rights Act of 1965 sign now

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. is calling on Congress to reauthorize the 1965 Voting Rights Act. As portions of the law expire in 2007.

This act to enforce the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution was signed into law 95 years after the amendment was ratified. In those years, African Americans in the South faced tremendous obstacles to voting, including poll taxes, literacy tests, and other bureaucratic restrictions to deny them the right to vote. They also risked harassment, intimidation, economic reprisals, and physical violence when they tried to register or vote. As a result, very few African Americans were registered voters, and they had very little, if any, political power, either locally or nationally.

Certain provisions of the Voting Rights Act will expire soon. They include: the authorization of the U.S. Attorney General to send examiners to register voters in counties where blacks are refused, to send federal observers to monitor elections to make sure that blacks who are eligible to vote are actually permitted to vote, to ensure that their votes are actually counted, to ensure the requirements that specially covered jurisdictions gain the approval of the U.S. Attorney General before implementing new voting practices or procedures, and to make sure any voting changes made are not racially discriminatory. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and other temporary provisions of the Act expire unless reauthorized by Congress and signed into law.

We, the undersign submit our names as citizens of this country, in support of making the Voters Rights Act of 1965 law. Giving all African American citizens who are eligible to vote the right to vote without discrimination.

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