Sen. Murkowski Explains Her Support for Dems’ VRA Fix

Samantha Lachman reports for HuffPo.

Murkowski explained why she decided to back the bill in a statement Thursday afternoon.

“The Voting Rights Act of 1965 brought an end to the ugly Jim Crow period in American history. It is fundamentally important in our system of government that every American be given the opportunity to vote, regardless of who they are, where they live, and what their race or national origin may be,” she said….

The powerful nature of the VRA legislation was on display in 2008, when questions from the Justice Department compelled Alaska’s elections office to withdraw a plan to close polling places in remote villages. A reauthorization of the VRA in 1975 added new protections for minorities, requiring bilingual election materials to be printed in areas where people of Spanish heritage, Native Americans, Alaska Natives or Asian-Americans constituted more than 5 percent of the local voting-age population. Some Republicans were opposed to the new language requirements at the time, and Alaska has since challenged the provision.

Murkowski has attributed her unprecedented general election victory via a daring write-in campaign to Alaska Natives, who endorsed her in 2010. She is up for re-election next year.


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