Seven years ago, Sen. Susan Collins walked with Rep. John Lewis across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. On that day in 1965, marchers demanded voting rights for African Americans and were met by police wielding clubs. Lewis almost died in the attack.

Sadly, we are still in a fight to protect voting rights for all Americans. Two bills soon will come up for a vote: the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

Voting is the bedrock on which our democracy stands, and the act of voting is sacrosanct – or should be. Because a number of states have recently acted to diminish that right, these two bills are essential to protect the vote and our democracy.

So far, Sen. Collins has shown no indication that she will support either of these two bills. Really? Was Sen. Collins’ walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge all for show?

I encourage Sen. Collins to stand up for what is right and – in the spirit of John Lewis – a man she admired, support these voting rights bills.

Connie Cross

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