Islanders to march for voting rights

The Lagoon Pond Drawbridge will be part of the march route. — MV Times

The Democratic Council of Martha’s Vineyard and Indivisible Martha’s Vineyard are co-sponsoring the March for Voting Rights on Saturday, Jan. 15, at Five Corners in Vineyard Haven. The event is planned for 1 pm, according to a press release, but will not be held in the case of severe weather. This will be one of many marches and rallies to take place across the country, according to the press release.

“No celebration without legislation,” Martin Luther King III, son of Martin Luther King Jr., said according to the press release. The press release said he vowed to use his father’s memory to press Congress and the White House to bring the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act “across the finish line.” 

According to the press release, the King family urged local organizers to cross nearby bridges. This is in memorial of the 1965 crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., where peaceful protesters, including the late Congressman John Lewis, were “brutally beaten” by law enforcement officers. This event was televised nationally, which helped to shift opinions in favor of voting rights, according to the press release.

Martha’s Vineyard marchers will be starting at Five Corners, going over the Lagoon Pond Drawbridge, and continuing on to Eastville Beach. This is a distance of approximately 1 mile. 

“We’ve been trying to figure out how to best commemorate MLK Day,” Carla Cooper, a member of Indivisible Martha’s Vineyard, told the Times. “There [are] a bunch of groups on the Island that wanted to do something, since the King family sent out a request for groups around the country to commemorate Dr. King by marching over local bridges in their community in solidarity and in remembrance of the marches that they did for civil rights.” 

Cooper said Indivisible Martha’s Vineyard and the Democratic Council reached out to other groups on the Island to be a part of the march, such as Black Lives Matter and the League of Women Voters.

Cooper also mentioned the voting rights acts the groups are in favor of, which she said “are currently being filibustered in the Senate by Republicans.”

To register for the event, visit


  1. The article doesn’t really state what they are marching for. What rights? The right to vote multiple times via mail in ballots? The right to vote without being a US citizen? What exactly are they looking to achieve?

      • All US citizens already have a right to vote. Just show us some identification. The John Lewis bill is a trojan horse designed to get rid of the Electoral College. Ms Cooper cites vaguery and doesnt really tell us who is being discriminated against. The recent concept in NYC to allow voting for 800k undocumented people. Is that what she is railing about?

        • Some states make voting difficult: shorting hours, reducing polling sites, making it illegal to drive another voter, removing legally registered voters from the roles just before the election.

          In 1987, I moved to a Republican-run town that still restricted voting eligibility in the 1900’s to just members of a particular local church. Seems they didn’t trust newcomers, they gave me an incorrect location to vote (actual site was a mile up the road, school names not even close). So don’t tell me there’s no longer problems with voting rights.

        • Another easily debunked statement here. Not all citizens have the right to vote. Those under 18 are ineligible as are convicted felons in many states. I could go on as usual but, the point is made.

  2. Are you kidding me?!? What kind of a question is that? I shouldn’t even take the time to respond to this.

  3. Gayle, I saw this yesterday, shook my head, and quickly decided that my time is better spent not responding to such ignorance. Not worth it.

  4. Nineteen states have passed 34 laws restricting access to voting. These laws not only enact obstacles to voting, but put partisan officials in charge of running elections. Some actually allow partisan actors to intimidate election officials and voters. The 2020 election was the most safe and secure election in history. After numerous recounts and court cases verifying the results, we’re still seeing cowardly sore losers lying about the results. This is why we need The Freedom To Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights and Advancement Act passed in the Senate ASAP. We cannot allow one party to subvert future elections because they don’t like the results of the last one.

  5. For those who haven’t followed the news, the focus right now is on two bills before Congress, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.

    The John Lewis act restores the full protections afforded by the bipartisan Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965. The VRA was reauthorized in 2006, by a bipartisan majority, but then gutted by the 2013 Supreme Court decision in Shelby v. Holder, which justified itself by saying that its protections were no longer needed. This claim has been belied by the proliferation of state-level legislation to make it much harder to vote, especially for people of color, young people, elders, and those with limited mobility. Many of these states were among the offenders that made the VRA necessary in the first place.

    The Freedom to Vote Act makes it easier to vote, for instance, by requiring early voting and vote-by-mail, and by specifying that no one should have to wait in line more than 30 minutes to vote. It also promotes election security, campaign finance reform, and nonpartisan drawing of electoral maps.

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