Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness
100 Maryland Avenue
Washington, DC 20002
Contact: Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II
STATEMENT ON VOTING RIGHTS ACT
Two-Year Anniversary of the Shelby v. Holder Decision
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) extends thanks to Senators Patrick Leahy, Dick Durbin, and Chris Coons and Representatives John Lewis, Terri Sewell, Linda Sanchez and Judy Chu for sponsoring the Voting Rights Advancement Act. Two years ago the Shelby v Holder decision created a major setback in the rights of citizens of the United States to vote.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has historically stood with Church, civil rights groups and other organizations in advocating for equal voting rights in the United States. Our General Assemblies have consistently voted to increase voter participation, to ensure equality and fairness, to provide for accountability and responsibility, to renew democracy more broadly, and to propose actions for individuals, congregations, and councils of the church. We have also advocated for addressing the disenfranchisement of people of color in the U.S. electoral process. We believe voting to be an act of discipleship. Therefore, we encourage our members to exercise their right to vote for the candidate of their choice. We also affirm the need for persons to study the issues and vote regularly.
We are witnessing too many breaches in our democratic process, particularly as it pertains to voting in the United States. We earnestly pray that Congress will come together, as it has done since 1965, to restore a commitment to fairness and justice in the electoral process. Today’s news of the Voting Rights Advancement Act gives hope for the days ahead.