Cuccinelli: Voting Rights Act ‘creeping into the drawing of lines’

Virginia has “outgrown” the need for federal oversight into political redistricting mandated under the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli told reporters and editors at today’s AP Day at the Capitol in Richmond.

“I don’t for a moment mean to contend that we don’t have to contend, in our society and in Virginia, with bigotry. We do. But the issue with the Voting Rights Act is, is that creeping into the drawing of lines,” Cuccinelli said.

Virginia is among a number of Southern states with histories of voter discrimination that have to obtain approval from the Justice Department before implementing any changes that could affect voting.

The Voting Rights Act was signed into law in 1965 at the height of efforts to protect equal rights to citizenship, education and voting long denied in the South to African-Americans.

“I think as a state, as a commonwealth, we have outgrown that,” Cuccinelli said.

Brian Moran, the newly elected chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, issued a statement strongly condemning Cuccinelli’s comments.

“Ken Cuccinelli’s claim that Virginia no longer has any need for oversight of our redistricting process is not only ignorant, it’s downright dangerous. Too many Virginians fought for too long for equal representation for our attorney general to put his near-pathological aversion to government ahead of their civil rights by removing the safeguards that ensure the integrity of our political system,” Moran said.

“Ken Cuccinelli may think racism and inequality are no longer factors in our political process, but I assure you that any progress we have made would not have been possible were it not for the Voting Rights Act and federal oversight of electoral issues like redistricting,” Moran said.

Story by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at freepress2@ntelos.net.


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