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WASHINGTONWade Henderson, interim president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement after the U.S. Senate failed to amend the filibuster to allow an up or down vote on the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act:

“The Senate has blocked a simple vote on our most sacred and fundamental right in a democracy — the right to cast our ballots freely, safely, and equally. Some senators have chosen to hide behind arcane procedural rules instead of joining the majority of Americans who are on the side of freedom and equality. Not allowing consideration of the transformative Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act is an attack against the well-being of our communities and the very definition of democracy. But we are not deterred — our voices and calls for federal legislation that will help realize the promise of our democracy will not be silenced. We are on the right side of history, and we shall overcome this setback and ultimately win.”

Civil rights groups engaged lawmakers on both sides of the aisle on voting rights, including 16 Republican senators who voted for the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act in 2006. On Tuesday, The Leadership Conference urged Minority Leader McConnell and the Senate Republican Caucus to refrain from using the filibuster and allow an up-or-down vote on the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. That letter is available here

The Leadership Conference also urged all senators to support the cloture vote and pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. That letter is available here

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.