Jackson Lee: Dems must be 'vigilant' in ensuring all Americans have right to vote 

Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeAngelina Jolie spotted in Capitol meeting with senators Elon Musk after Texas Gov. Abbott invokes him: 'I would prefer to stay out of politics' Without major changes, more Americans could be victims of online crime MORE (D-Texas) says Democrats must be “vigilant” when it comes to ensuring that all Americans have the right to vote ahead of November’s midterm elections.

Jackson Lee, who is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), emphasized the importance of eliminating voter suppression and teaching lawmakers how to fight for voting rights from a policy perspective.

“The fact that felons who have done their time are stopped from voting. The fact that people are being purged off lists, voting machines don’t work. There’s no double-check after a vote is cast,” Jackson Lee told Hill.TV contributor Jamal Simmons at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual conference.

The 12-term congresswoman said this message is what CBC will be driving home to members during this week’s annual conference.

“You have to be vigilant, so what we’ll be teaching here with the NAACP is to get people trained to know the law,” she told Hill.TV.

Jackson Lee also stressed the importance of Democrats getting out into their communities and signing people up to vote, saying that “without registration and activism – there is no voting.”

“Freedom is not cheap and voting does not just happen – you have to fight for it,” Jackson said.

Jackson Lee represents Texas' 18th congressional district, which includes Houston – an area hard hit by Hurricane Harvey last year.

The congresswoman told Hill.TV that some members of the CBC were not able to make conference because of Hurricane Florence. 

"We're concerned about our friends and neighbors and we offer our prayers – and particularly our constituents that would have been here and certainly those members of Congress that working with their constituents, such as congresswoman Alma AdamsAlma Shealey AdamsBuilding a culture of environmental preparedness at HBCUs In honor of Mother's Day, lawmakers should pass the Momnibus Act Officials discuss proposals for fixing deep disparities in education digital divide MORE [D-N.C.], congressman G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldHouse Democrats push to introduce John Lewis voting rights bill within weeks Black Caucus presses Democratic leaders to expedite action on voting rights Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack MORE [D-N.C.] and an array of others," Jackson Lee told Hill.TV. 

Hurricane Florence is still barreling towards the Carolina coasts, with winds speeds expected to topple 80 miles per hour. 

Even though the tropical storm has been downgraded to a Category 2, officials are warning that the storm is still incredibly dangerous. 

Brock Long, who is the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told residents in the affected areas to "not let your guard down," citing the threat of storm surges. 

 — Tess Bonn