Shelby County NAACP holds Restore the Vote Weekend

COLUMBIANA- The Shelby County chapter of the NAACP held its fourth annual Restore the Vote Weekend from Friday, June 9, to Sunday, June 11, at several locations in Columbiana and Alabaster.

Restore the Vote Weekend began on Friday with a press conference at the Shelby County Courthouse in Columbiana and ended with a Sunday church service at Liberty Baptist Church in Alabaster.

On Saturday, June 10, a rally was held at the Columbiana Exhibition Center. The rally features several speakers, including Congresswoman Terri Sewell and former Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Executive Director Kevin Myles.

Immediately following the rally, NAACP members went into the community to promote voter registration.

According to a press release from the Alabama NAACP, the rally has been held every year since the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County (Alabama) v. Holder, which ruled Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 unconstitutional.

Shelby County NAACP President Kenneth Dukes referred to the ruling as unjust and discriminatory.

“It’s time to take back what was stolen from us,” Dukes said.

Alabama NAACP President Benard Simelton said he is disheartened by the recent presidential efforts to investigate voter fraud with little to no evidence, while there no efforts to investigate and stop voter suppression and disenfranchisement during elections.

“There has been a long history of voter discrimination, voter intimidation and voter suppression, which had a significant impact on the 2016 Presidential Election,” Simelton said. “The U. S. Supreme Court must see this and Restore Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. Voting is not just a fundamental right afforded to every citizen, but it is the voice of the people and its restoration is worth every effort of our fight.”