ATLANTA — In the mid-1960s, when my father was a teenager, he was arrested. His crime? Registering black voters in Mississippi. He and my mother had joined the civil rights movement well before they were even old enough to vote themselves.
They braved this dangerous work, which all too often created martyrs of marchers. In doing so, my parents ingrained in their six children a deep and permanent reverence for the franchise. We were taught that the right to vote undergirds all other rights, that free and fair elections are necessary for social progress.
That is why I am determined to end voter suppression and empower all people to participate in our democracy.
True voter access means that every person has the right to register, cast a ballot and have that ballot counted — without undue hardship. Unfortunately, the forces my parents battled 50 years ago continue to stifle democracy.