Quote of the Day

We need – and the American people deserve – election systems that are free from discrimination, free from partisan influence, and free from fraud.   And we must do everything within our power to make certain that these systems are more, not less, accessible to the citizens of this country.   The Justice Department will continue working to protect the voting rights of U.S. service members and veterans, and to enforce other laws that protect Americans living abroad, citizens with disabilities, and language minorities.   But we can’t do it alone.

Protecting the right to vote, ensuring meaningful access, and combating discrimination must be viewed, not only as a legal issue – but as a moral imperative.   And ensuring that every eligible citizen has the right to vote must become our common cause.

This means that we must support policies aimed at modernizing our voting systems; at ensuring that all eligible citizens have access to complete, accurate, and understandable information about where, when, and how they can cast a ballot; and at preventing and punishing fraudulent voting practices.

Voter fraud, quite simply, is not acceptable – and will not be tolerated by this Justice Department.   But as I learned early in my legal career –when I actually investigated and prosecuted voting-fraud cases – making voter registration easier is simply not likely, by itself, to make our elections more susceptible to fraud.   Indeed, responsible parties on all sides of this debate have acknowledged that in-person voting fraud is uncommon.

In this great nation there must always be room for discussion, for debate, and for improvement – and there will continue to be competing visions about how our government should move forward.   That’s what the democratic process is all about – creating space for the thoughtful exchange of ideas, creating opportunity for citizens to voice their opinions, and ultimately letting the people – through the casting of their ballots – chart their course.   Our nation has worked for, struggled for, and fought for such a system.   And, today, this fight goes on.   The progress we hold dear, and the democracy we hold sacred, is in our hands – and our responsibility to carry forward.

AG Eric Holder, speaking today in South Carolina on Martin Luther King Day

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