Fifty-five years ago today, the Voting Rights Act was signed into law. This landmark legislation explicitly prohibits racial discrimination in voting and is one of the most critical civil rights protections ever enacted in the United States. The VRA, which is part of the great Congressman John Lewis' legacy, has been under attack since it was passed. Unsurprisingly, our current federal administration is doing everything in its power to undermine it. I can think of few things more dishonorable or un-American than interfering with one of our right to vote.
While Oregon's record on voting rights is strong—we've voted by mail for two decades, we implemented Motor Voter in 2016, and as of this year, ballots are postage paid—today is another dark day in the long history of voting rights in our country. Trump is trying to prevent voting by mail across the nation, and suggesting we delay our elections, promoting unfounded accusations of fraud and spreading distrust of our elections. In Florida, state lawmakers are trying to overrule the voters' decision to restore voting rights to Floridians with felonies on their records through a modern-day poll tax. Since the Supreme Court gutted the VRA in the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision, leading to numerous attacks on our democracy through voter disenfranchisement.
These ongoing attempts to undermine confidence in our elections and direct political power away from people of color and democratic urban areas can make voting can feel like an exercise in futility. But remember, the right to vote is one of our most fundamental constitutional rights, a right that countless Americans have dedicated their lives to ensuring, and a right we can only enjoy if we exercise it. So please, vote. Vote to honor the memory of Congressman Lewis. Vote for BIPOC communities and other disenfranchised voters across our country. Vote for our community, and vote for our future.
Today is the last day to mail your ballot for next week's Special Election—if you can't get it in the mail today, here is the list of drop off sites.