TRENTON – Senator Ronald L. Rice, D-Essex, who serves as Chairman of the New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus, today released the following statement regarding this morning’s news conference held by Congressman Donald Payne, D-NJ, the State Democratic Party and Legislators of African-American, Latino and Asian descent, announcing a voter protection plan to help end the voter-suppression tactics set forth by the State’s Republican party:
“Today’s news conference was held to bring attention to some of the different voter-suppression tactics that have been put forth over the past 25 years, to help silence the voices of minorities and women here in New Jersey.
“As the Chair of New Jersey’s Legislative Black Caucus, I am appealing to every registered voter, minorities and women in particular, to come out to the polls on November 7 and vote. I am also appealing to New Jerseyans who have a criminal record, but are off parole, to make sure that they come out to the polls and cast their vote.
“My ancestors fought long and hard, to win for us the right to vote. The road towards suffrage was paved with their own blood, sweat and tears. Our history has been one of struggle, because of the racism and bigotry that existed then, and in many cases, still exists today.
“Today, voting is our moral right and responsibility – to help ensure that our ancestors did not die in vain. Remember, we forfeit our right to complain if we don’t exercise our right to vote.”