For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 27, 2006
Fact Sheet: Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006
President Bush Signs Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006
Today, The President Signed Into Law The Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, And
Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization And Amendments Act Of
2006. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) was designed to restore the
birthright of every American - the right to choose our leaders. It has
been vital to guaranteeing the right to vote for generations of Americans
and has helped millions of our citizens enjoy the full promise of freedom.
In Signing This Bill, President Bush Honored The Memory Of Three Women Who
Devoted Their Lives To The Struggle For Civil Rights - Fannie Lou Hamer,
Rosa Parks, And Coretta Scott King. The Voting Rights Act Reauthorization
and Amendments Act of 2006 was named in honor of these three American
The Voting Rights Act Reauthorization And Amendments Act Of 2006 Reaffirms
A Commitment To Enforce The Right To Vote For All Americans
The Voting Rights Act Reauthorization And Amendments Act Of 2006 Extends
The VRA For 25 Years, Extending:
- The prohibition against the use of tests or devices to deny the right to
vote in any Federal, State, or local election; and
- The requirement for certain States and local governments to provide voting
materials in multiple languages.
The New Law Also Amends The VRA With Regard To:
- The use of election examiners and observers;
- Voting qualifications or standards intended to diminish, or with the effect
of diminishing, the ability of U.S. citizens on account of race or color to
elect preferred candidates; and
- Award of attorney fees in enforcement proceedings to include expert fees
and other reasonable costs of litigation.
The President Has Committed His Administration To Vigorously Enforce The
Provisions Of This Law And To Defend It In Court. The President will also
continue to work with Congress to ensure that our country lives up to our
guiding principle that all men and women are created equal.
The Administration Will Continue To Build On The Legacy Of The Civil Rights
Movement To Help Ensure That Every Child Enjoys The Opportunities America
Offers. These opportunities include the right to a decent education in a
good school, the chance to own a home or small business, and the hope that
comes from knowing you can rise in our society through hard work and using
History Of The Voting Rights Act Of 1965
In March 1965, African Americans Marched Across The Edmund Pettus Bridge In
Selma, Alabama, To Protest The Unfair And Racist Practices That Kept Them
Off The Voter Rolls.
When The Marchers Reached The Far Side Of The Bridge, They Were Met By
State Troopers And A Civilian Posse Bearing Tear Gas, Billy Clubs, And
Whips. This group brutally attacked the peacefully protesting men, women,
One Week After The Selma Incident, President Johnson Announced That He
Planned To Submit Legislation That Would Bring African Americans Into The
Civic Life Of Our Nation.
Five Months After Selma, President Johnson Signed The Voting Rights Act
Into Law. For some parts of our country, the Voting Rights Act marked the
first appearance of African Americans on the voting rolls since
Reconstruction following the Civil War.
# # #
Return to this article at: