Secretary Reagan Honors 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
August 6, 2015

Contact:

Matt Roberts, Director of Communications 
Phone: (602) 542-2228
mroberts@azsos.gov

Phoenix – Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan is joining with members of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) to commemorate today as the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, which was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on August 6, 1965.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed discriminatory voting practices, such as literacy tests and poll taxes, which were adopted after the Civil War to prevent African-Americans from registering and exercising their right to vote. It also established new legal protections for minority voters at the polls.

“It remains critically important for our office to ensure that any new laws or rules pertaining to voting or elections do not have a disproportionate effect on minorities,” said Secretary Reagan. “We can and must work with state and local jurisdictions to ensure that new laws, rules and regulations are fair, impartial and do not serve to disenfranchise minority voters while not ceding any authority back to the federal government.”

“One of my top priorities coming into office was to create the new position of “Voting Rights Ambassador,” said Secretary Reagan.  “These two fantastic people will be out in the community educating Arizonans about our system of elections, listening to their concerns and informing them of their rights and responsibilities.”

In addition to serving as chief state election official, Secretary Reagan is engaged in sharing non-partisan election administration information as a member of the non-partisan NASS Elections Committee and Voter Participation Committee. 

The NASS Elections Committee is dedicated to educating and informing members about state election administration practices and laws, as well as tracking proposed federal legislation and the activities of other federal government entities.  The NASS Voter Participation Committee is devoted to identifying state strategies for increasing or enhancing practices on voter education and outreach, as well as serving as a clearinghouse for information on voter participation and civics outreach programs.

To learn more about registering to vote and casting a ballot in Arizona, visit Arizona.vote or Arizona.voto.