Iowa celebrates voting rights with a weekend of events that kicked off this (Friday) afternoon in Des Moines. Secretary of State Chet Culver says the celebrate will commemmorate the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the 85th anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement, and the 15th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Culver says he hopes reflecting on the achievements and historic dates as well as the struggles involved will inspire the next generation of young people. Culver says a lot of people assume we’ve had equal rights and accessibility in voting since 1879 when George Washington was elected the first president. “That’s just not the case,” he says. “In fact it’s taken more than 200 years for us to have equality and justice and fairness when it comes to the voting process.” Live music will highlight the weekend, which will include a children’s program and an awards ceremony. In the fall Culver says this “Celebrate Iowa Tour” will travel to the college campuses in Ames, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City to share the salute to voting rights and their future as students come back for fall semester. The weekend’s events are sponsored by seven statewide organizations including the NAACP and Iowa League of Women Voters.
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