Dignitaries applaud the unveiling of a portrait of former Maine Republican Sen. Margaret Chase Smith at the Capitol in Washington in 2005. Credit: Lawrence Jackson / AP

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In 1965, the original Voting Rights Act was passed by the U.S. Senate with only two Republican senators voting in opposition. Maine’s own Republican Sen. Margaret Chase Smith voted in favor. The act was extended in 1970 again with Republican support, including Smith.

In 2006, the act was extended for 25 years on a Senate vote of 98 to 0 with Maine’s two Republican senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, voting in favor and the extension signed into law by Republican President George W. Bush. All these actions were taken to ensure the sacred right to vote for all Americans.

In spite of the fact that absolutely no evidence has been presented anywhere in the country that widespread voter fraud exists, a number of states have passed legislation to severely restrict voting rights yet Senate Republicans cannot support federal legislation to secure voting rights for all.

As the nation celebrates the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., it is interesting to note the hypocrisy of current Senate Republicans.  

Jack Cashman