THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
STATEMENT BY VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965 On this day in 1965, America did overcome.
Thirty-five years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, made it the law of this land, and made America more fully and truly a land of liberty.
That law made right a fundamental wrong, and, in the words of President Johnson, scored "a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that has ever been won on any battlefield."
By opening the doors to polling places, the Voting Rights Act gave new life to our democracy, and it gave a voice to those who -- by fear, obstruction, and discrimination -- had been voiceless for all our nation's history.
Today we see the sweeping changes brought by that act in the election of tens of thousands of African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians -- reflecting the rich diversity of America in offices all across our nation.
We have not finished the job, but that act has proven, once again, that the right to vote is the most powerful tool in breaking down the walls of injustice. But we also know that the power of the vote is only realized when the hard-won right to vote is exercised.
Today, we rededicate ourselves to the strong enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, and to removing the last barriers that keep all from participating in our democracy -- cynicism, distrust, and the vestiges of discrimination.
With the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as our inspiration and our guide, let us, as Americans, continue to make strides to freedom, let us energize all to participate in the life of our union, and heed the words of my good friend John Lewis -- a man who has led this battle his entire career: "Come let us build a new world together."
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