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Public Statements

The Supreme Court's Voting Rights Decision

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Speaker, a vote at the ballot box transcends gender, race, religion, and socioeconomic status. Knowing that an 80-year-old veteran, a single mom, or an 18-year-old high school senior voting for the first time has an equal vote and, thus, an equal voice as does a millionaire or billionaire, this is what has separated us and made our Nation great.

Unfortunately, the recent Supreme Court decision to strike down section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is not only a major setback for civil rights and voting rights, but it is a major blow to basic fundamental democracy in this country.

Now is the time for Congress to rise above partisanship and create free and unfettered access to the ballot. Access to the ballot on election day may be one of the only times that the most disadvantaged in our communities have an equal voice, regardless of what they look like or where they come from.

And as a Member who represents some of the most disadvantaged, I am undeterred and will continue to fight so my constituents can have an equal access to the ballot box, from the wealthiest towns to the poorest cities; and I urge my colleagues to do the same.

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