Alabama NAACP celebrates 54 years of Voter Rights Act

Alabama NAACP celebrates 54 years of Voter Rights Act

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Tuesday, the NAACP of Madison County celebrated 54 years of voting rights. On this day in 1965, the Voter Rights Act was passed ensuring that every eligible voter has their voice heard free from discrimination. Some say all these years later, there is still more work to be done.

State community leaders along with local residents gathered for a vigil in Big Spring Park.

At the time, the Voting Rights Act was the most comprehensive piece of legislation passed to ensure that voting rights were awarded to all citizens, especially racial minorities.

“Everyone needs equal access to the ballot box," said Jerry Burnet with Alabama NAACP.

Locally, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund has been pushing Madison County leadership to take a look at local voting rights.

In a letter sent to the commission earlier this year, the fund said black voters make up around 24% of the voting-age population in Madison County. Yet, only have a majority in one district -- district 6, which the letter says limits them to just 14% of county-wide votes.

“Right now, black voters are packed into a single district when it is possible to create more than one majority black district to give black voters better opportunity to have representation on the county commission," said NAACP Senior Counsel Deuel Ross.

“When it comes to county-wide decisions, we want to make sure that every districts vote has equal weight when its cast," stated Madison County Commisioner JesHenry Malone.

WAFF 48 News has learned that both the commission and fund have held several conversations and plans to meet in the near future.

We are still working to learn the details of those conversations and when the meeting will take place.

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