Editorial: Voting issues unresolved

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

The NAACP is the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots civil rights organization, with more than 500,000 members and supporters throughout the United States and the world. It is the advocate for civil rights in local communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring to ensure equal opportunity exists for all.

The centerpiece of the movement’s success, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, is coming under attack by those who would wish to eliminate a key provision that protects against voter discrimination and intimidation. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of that provision last month. Those seeking to have it eliminated argue the provision is no longer needed.

It is hard to believe such protections are needed, but they are. We, as a nation, have made great strides in the last century to ensure equal protection is provided to every citizen, and yet, we are constantly reminded in the news that there still remains much work to be done in order to achieve that goal.

It is unfortunate that this law is being challenged in this year, a year in which we witnessed the shattering of the highest political glass ceiling with the swearing in of President Barack Obama, the nation’s first Black American to be elected to the highest office in our land. In no small way, it was because of the Voting Rights Act enacted in 1965 that history was made in 2008.

The late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once said our lives begin to end on the day we become silent about the things that matter. The right to vote, and to do so free of intimidation, does matter. As do the daily efforts of those committed to protecting it.

Norwich Bulletin