By MARCIA MERRINS
The League of Women Voters is elated today to celebrate our 93rd anniversary. Since our founding in 1920, the League has worked tirelessly to protect and uphold the constitutional right to vote, a right that composes the very foundation of our democracy.
However, while we celebrate our successes, we are concerned by stark challenges to our democracy. In the upcoming Supreme Court case Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 will be reviewed. The VRA is landmark legislation that ensures every American citizen, regardless of race, has an equal right to vote. Should the Court rule against the VRA, which prevents states from passing discriminatory voting rules, the right to vote for millions of Americans would be at risk.
The thought that the Supreme Court might soon overturn the Voting Rights Act and limit voting rights should send a chill down the spine of every American. The League believes we should be expanding voting rights, not curtailing them, and working to make elections free, fair and accessible to all eligible citizens.
The League has been committed to protecting voter rights since 1920, and we're not stopping now. The upcoming Supreme Court review of the Voting Rights Act shows that even 93 years after our founding, the League's work is needed more than ever.
The League of Women Voters of Chautauqua County is one of nearly 800 Leagues in all 50 states that works to protect voters' rights. Since 1920, the League has worked to educate and inform voters. We respect all points of view, and never support or oppose candidates for office, or political parties.
This is what sets us apart from so many organizations, and it is why we welcome new volunteers to take part in our work here in Chautauqua County.
Membership in the League is open to men and women of all ages. For more information about the League, visit lwvchautauqua.org. The League's next event will be March 21 at noon at the White Horse Inn. "Are Our Schools Falling Behind?" is the hot topic for this luncheon. To guide us through this complicated discussion will be an experienced panel of education leaders.
The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
Membership in the League is open to men and women of all ages. With 93 years of experience and 800 local and state affiliates, the League is one of America's most trusted grassroots organizations. Follow us on Facebook & Twitter.
Marcia Merrins is a Fredonia resident and League of Women Voters member.