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

Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump attacks on McCain rattle GOP senators Harris to make hard Texas push, recruits key O'Rourke aide: report Trio of NFL players intern on Capitol Hill as part of league program 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 AdamsJackson Lee: Dems must be 'vigilant' in ensuring all Americans have right to vote  Closing diversity gaps in patenting is essential to innovation economy Tech firms seek partnerships to increase workforce diversity MORE [D-N.C.], congressman G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldDems mock Trump's pitch for Fourth of July celebration Winners and losers in the border security deal Pelosi runs tight ship as more stormy waters await 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