On 50th Anniversary of Voting Rights Act, Leaders Across South Carolina Condemn Republicans Continued Push to Suppress Voters

SC Voters Highlight Clinton’s Strong Record and Plans to Protect and Expand Voting Rights

Columbia, SC — Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, leaders across South Carolina condemned Republicans’ continued attempts to make voting more difficult for South Carolinians, especially students and minorities.

Earlier this year, Hillary Clinton called for reforms to expand Americans’ voting rights, including universal, automatic voter registration and no fewer than 20 days of nationwide early voting, including evenings and weekends. South Carolina is one of fourteen states that does not have early voting and in 2012, faced the fifth-highest voter wait time.

“In South Carolina, we know all too well that our Republican colleagues have no interest in making it easier to vote or shortening the voting lines on Election Day, which is why we need our next President to be serious about the Voting Rights Act and make serious reforms nationwide to voter registration and early voting,” said House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, D-Columbia. “Instead, Republicans want voting to be as complicated, tedious, and exclusive as possible.”

“Ensuring election participation and integrity is not a Republican or Democratic issue — it’s an issue that impacts every South Carolinian, as well as every American. We should be making it easier, not harder for South Carolinians to have their voices heard, and we should assure that their votes are correctly recorded and correctly counted. Voting is the constitutional right from which we derive all of our other rights, which is why we need Hillary Clinton’s proposal to create early voting in South Carolina and universal, automatic voter registration,” said Representative Walt McLeod.

“It’s long past time to restore the rights of many Americans with criminal convictions who already paid their debt to society. As a Senator, Hillary Clinton was a leader on restoring voter’s rights, and we now need her leadership to give more people an opportunity to vote,” said Representative Carl Anderson.

“Our democracy only works if we include all voices, but Republicans across South Carolina are set on silencing minorities. Hillary Clinton will fight for everyone’s right to have their voice heard at the ballot box,”said Melissa Watson, South Carolina Democratic Party 2nd Vice Chair.

“Fifty years after the passage of the original Voting Rights Act, South Carolinians still face some of the longest wait times to vote. We know the Republican playbook. Unfortunately, they want to limit access to the voting booth, which is why we need a President ready to fight for this basic right that many died for,” said The Honorable Lucille Whipper of Charleston.

“Hillary Clinton has innovative ideas to make it easier for all Americans to have the opportunity to vote. Implementing 20 days of early voting in South Carolina and automatic voting registration at the age of 18 would allow more Americans to have their voices heard,” said Carol Fowler, former South Carolina Democratic Party Chair.

“50 years after the Voting Rights Act, Republican candidates for President are set on making it harder for Americans to vote by rolling back rights for college students, cutting early voting days, and even purging voter rolls. As we look to the next 50 years, we need new protections, automatic voter registration, and a new national standard for early voting,” said Ms. Betty Henderson, Chair Orangeburg County Democratic Party.

“In 2013, the Supreme Court eviscerated a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. Hillary Clinton has made it clear that she supports restoring the full protections American voters need and deserve,” said Courtney Clyburn Pope, Esq of Aiken.

“In the 1960’s, civil rights leaders fought for their right to participate in our democracy, yet 50 years later, discrimination at ballot box still exists. Hillary Clinton as our next President will be dedicated to restoring and protecting of voting rights for all citizens,” said Councilwoman-Elect Angela Douglas of Chester.

“In the 21st century, we need a modern Voting Rights Act. Too many obstacles make it harder for Americans to get to the polls, and our next President must work with Congress to make it easier to cast a ballot,” said Ben Saul, President Young Democrats of Greenville County.

“Republicans have spent the last 50 years dismantling the Voting Rights Act, and in this day and age, voters in states likes South Carolina still face significant discrimination voting rights violations. Hillary Clinton will work with Congress to strengthen the Voting Rights Act, which was gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013,” said J. Robinson Alterman, President and CEO of J. Robinson Alterman LLC and women’s rights advocate.

“Here in South Carolina we have some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country — — this is not what our democracy should be about. Hillary Clinton will continue working to repair the Voting Rights Act to make it easier for every American to vote,” said Blaine Lotz, Chair of the Beaufort County Democratic Party.

“Since registering voters in the 1970's, Hillary Clinton has spent her life defending Americans’ voting rights and now, we need her to keep fighting against Republicans who want to roll back these basic rights,” said Debbie Gudenas, York County Neighborhood Team Leader.

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For Immediate Release, August 6, 2015

Contact: sformas@hillaryclinton.com

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