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Group supports Freedom to Vote Act

Submitted photo About 50 area residents gathered last week in Washington Park in Dunkirk.

On a breezy Veterans Day evening at twilight, more than 50 citizen activists gathered at Washington Park in Dunkirk to hold a vigil supporting the Freedom to Vote Act.

Organizer Janey Wagner declared, “Those of us gathered here take seriously our right to vote. In many states, access to voting has been compromised in areas where poor people live, in order to suppress the power of their votes. We need federal legislation to standardize access to voting across the United States and provide the election security that all of us desire.”

Event participants were encouraged to write postcards to thank U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand for supporting this important legislation. Several speakers provided information about the provisions of the Freedom to Vote Act and gave moving personal anecdotes about voting.

After speakers concluded their remarks, participants held flashlights and a five-minute period of silent prayer and meditation was observed, highlighted by the sounds of children’s voices and distant church bells. Event speakers represented the League of Women Voters of Chautauqua County, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Northern Chautauqua, and the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Women’s Action Group, the three event co-sponsors, as well as representatives of the Northern Chautauqua County Juneteenth Committee and the office of Mayor Wilfred Rosas, and a U.S. veteran.

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