ACLU of Massachusetts communications director Chris Ott wrote this guest blog.
It's not as if there are no threats to voting rights in Massachusetts. In just the last couple of years, groups like Voters 4 Integrity in Southbridge have fought attempts to mislead Massachusetts voters, and last fall, the ACLU of Massachusetts joined voter-protection efforts to ensure access to the polls.
But Chief Justice John Roberts' claims about Massachusetts are a distraction. The stakes are high, and the Voting Rights Act remains essential. That's why the ACLU intervened in Shelby County v. Holder on behalf of the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP and several Shelby County residents in order to help uphold the law.
But don't just take our word for the importance of the Voting Rights Act. Congress voted to re-authorize the law in 2006, and President Bush signed it with fanfare. States like Mississippi and North Carolina, which are affected by the law's requirements, have also filed an amicus brief in its defense.
As Laughlin McDonald of the national ACLU's Voting Rights Project and Eunice Hyon Min Rho have written, "The Voting Rights Act remains an indispensable tool in our fight to preserve the right to vote; this law brings us one step closer to our dream of achieving our ideal of true egalitarian citizenship. It must be preserved."
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