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Contact: Meredith Beatrice, 850.245.6522

Secretary Detzner Recognizes 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

Tallahassee –

Today, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner issued the following statement recognizing the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act:

“The signing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 was a milestone event in our nation’s history,” said Secretary Detzner. “As we commemorate the 50th Anniversary of this significant legislation, I encourage Floridians to participate in the electoral process and utilize the many educational resources available through the Department of State as we prepare for the 2016 elections.”

Signed into law on August 6, 1965, by President Lyndon Johnson, the act prohibits discriminatory voter registration and voting practices in the United States. For those interested in learning more about the history of voting and voting rights in the state of Florida, the Department of State’s Florida Memory offers hundreds of historic voting and election-related photographs, documents and online collections. Florida Memory is also currently featuring a collection entitled Voter Registration Rolls, 1867-68 which lists individuals who registered to vote in the State of Florida in 1867 and 1868. The lists are unique in that they are the first voter rolls in Florida to systematically include African-Americans. To view this collection and others, visit Florida Memory at floridamemory.com.

For citizens in need of voting and voter registration information in Florida, the Department’s Division of Elections has many resources and tools available to the public on its webpage at dos.myflorida.com/elections. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Instructions and forms on how to register to vote/update voter registration information.
  • Polling place accessibility information for persons with disabilities.
  • Information for United States uniformed services members and their families and citizens living overseas.
  • A voter information look-up page where voters can check on their voter registration status, find their polling place and check on the status of requested absentee ballots.
  • Key dates for voter registration deadlines, absentee ballot ‘send’ deadlines, and election/early voting period dates.

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About Florida Memory

Florida Memory provides free online access to significant photographs, films, sound recordings and original documents from the collections of the State Library and Archives of Florida. With over seven million visitors per month worldwide, Florida Memory chooses materials for digitization that illuminate significant events and individuals in the state's history and helps educate Floridians and millions of people around the world about Florida history and culture. Florida Memory is funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Florida Department of State's Division of Library and Information Services. For more information, visit floridamemory.com.

About the Division of Elections

The Florida Department of State’s Division of Elections supports the Secretary of State, Florida’s chief election officer, in ensuring that Florida has fair and accurate elections. The Division’s three bureaus; the Bureau of Election Records, Bureau of Voter Registration Services, and Bureau of Voting Systems Certification, have several responsibilities in the areas of legal compliance and elections administration to ensure that Florida’s election laws are uniformly interpreted and implemented.  The Division also assists local Supervisors of Elections in their duties, and promotes enhanced public awareness and participation in the electoral process. For more information about Florida’s elections, visit dos.myflorida.com/elections/.