WASHINGTON, DC The United States Senate today passed legislation to reauthorize and strengthen the Voting Rights Act. U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) was a cosponsor of the legislation.Upon passage of the bill, Reed issued the following statement:"The Voting Rights Act reverses decades of discrimination, ensuring that all Americans, regardless of race, class, or ethnicity have the right to vote.   "By reauthorizing this vital legislation we have reaffirmed our commitment to civil rights and social justice. "The right to vote in America is essential. It has allowed us to protect and uphold all of the civil liberties that we enjoy as a nation and that our founding fathers provided us over two centuries ago."Our Democracy is strengthened when everyone exercises their right to vote and this legislation protects their freedom to do so.  I am pleased the Senate passed this bill to protect the right to vote for all Americans."