Obama repeats call to restore Voting Rights Act

BY CHRISTI PARSONS
TRIBUNE WASHINGTON BUREAU / TNS

President Obama called again Wednesday for restoration of all provisions of the Voting Rights Act in a letter to the editor of the New York Times magazine in response to a recent story on the law.

Signed “President Barack Obama, Washington,” the letter comments on an Aug. 2 magazine story about efforts to dismantle the protections of the historic 1965 law that cleared obstacles blocking African-Americans from the ballot box.

‘Unsung hero’
The story introduced 94-year-old Rosanell Eaton, the plaintiff in a North Carolina case seeking repeal of voting restrictions that the state imposed in 2013. The president wrote that he was inspired by “unsung American heroes” like Eaton, according to a copy of his letter released by the White House.

“I am where I am today only because men and women like Rosanell Eaton refused to accept anything less than a full measure of equality,” he said. “Rosanell is now 94 years old. She has not given up. She’s still marching. She’s still fighting to make real the promise of America.”

The magazine got an unusual volume of letters, according to a note from the editor that accompanies Obama’s letter, which was published online Wednesday.

Obama has called before for the restoration of a piece of the act that was struck down by the Supreme Court. The provision had required states with a history of suppressing the minority vote to get clearance of any new voting laws from the federal government.

Obama also spoke out last week on the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act being signed into law.

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