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May 19, 2022
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, who is the first Black woman to run the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, has said that voting discrimination exists in the United States.
“We have made a lot of progress as a nation. But we’ve still got a long way to go,” she told CBS News chief national affairs and Justice correspondent Jeff Pegues in her first TV interview since taking office last year.
Clarke said new state voting restrictions are targeting people of color. “Voting discrimination is alive and well,” she said.
“I was there at the White House when President Bush signed the last reauthorization of the bill into law. It passed in Congress in 2006 by a 98-to-0 vote in the Senate,” she said. “I’m hopeful that we can get back to that place, where we’ve been time and time again, where Congress has worked in bipartisan fashion to renew the Voting Rights Act.”
At this stage, the voting rights legislation has stalled in congress. The Biden administration and Senate Democrats do not have the votes to pass their election reform measures.
“I understand the frustration that people feel as we watch states that are working to make it harder for people to vote,” Clarke said. Clarke went onto say that she has empathy for voters.
“I know what it’s like for families who grow up poor and who struggle, who live paycheck to paycheck,” she said. “I know what that experience is like. I know what it’s like to be marginalized, sidelined and silenced. And that personal perspective shapes who I am.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: BET.COM