Honor Voting Rights Act by registering to vote

Published 9:09 pm Friday, July 31, 2015

How rewarding Aug. 6, 1965, must have been for foot soldiers and others who marched for the right to vote 50 years ago.

That’s the day President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law. Voter turnout did greatly improve as restrictions to the ballot box were challenged and eliminated.

Next week we mark the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act as law. It’s an important milestone to celebrate. To that end, the NAACP is planning to begin a march from Selma to Washington, D.C. this morning from the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Another group is planning a week of mock elections for students, seminars and other programs.

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However, one of the best ways to honor the sacrifices people have made for the right of all citizens to vote is by registering to do so and being active in the political process.

Last year’s mid-term general election saw deplorable voter turnout in Dallas County. Given our unique history in the country’s voting rights movement, low turnout should never been an issue here. Too much was given to not vote in every time polls are open.

Next year will be an important one in determining the course of our country and city. In March, Alabama will vote in a primary to decide who will follow Barack Obama as President. Then in August, we will also vote for Selma mayor and city council.

Now would be a great time to register to vote if you are not and to also begin to examine candidates and become educated on the issues.