Our Mission


The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was the signature achievement of the Civil Rights Movement, a single, bold act that realized the promises of the Constitution’s 14th and 15th Amendments.

In a stroke, the VRA barred the rigging of elections to assure favored races would always win.  As President Lyndon Johnson promised in his “We Shall Overcome” speech, the VRA would address what was “an American problem” bigger than any race or region.  It would do so by requiring state and local governments to “Open your polling places to all your people. Allow men and women to register and vote whatever the color of their skin.”  The promise was expressly one of equal protection for all American’s right to vote.

But 50 years have passed since the VRA became law.  The VRA’s roots lay in the struggle to make real the Constitutional promise of equal protection for every American.  But some have concluded that the Courts have used the VRA to create racial entitlements for a new slate of preferred groups.  Those who crafted the VRA wanted no such thing.  As Congressman John Lewis, hero of Selma, has stated, “It is an affront to all of what the civil rights movement stood for, what people died for, what people bled for….  [T]hose of us who marched across that bridge [50] years ago, we didn’t march for some racial entitlement…. [W]e wanted to open up the political process, and let all of the people come in, and it didn’t matter whether they were black or white, Latino, Asian-American or Native American.”

It is time for something better.

It is time for every American to enjoy the equal voting rights promised by Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Equal Voting Rights Institute was founded to redeem the VRA, to restore every American’s voting rights, and to assure that those rights remain equally protected for us all.