Leaders, influencers and celebrities gathered from all around the world to celebrate with Reverend Al Sharpton at his 60th birthday party. Sharpton’s birthday also coincided with the National Action Network’s African American Vanguard Awards.

Even though it was a time for celebrating, Sharpton decidedly could not take a day off from his concerns with upcoming elections. He spoke about the growing movement of “voter ID” laws and other worrisome moves toward voter suppression from the far right.

“We are seeing them chip away at voting rights. If the right wing takes the senate, we will not be able to confirm the attorney general. We will not be able to confirm any of the Presidents nominations, we will not be able to maintain the healthcare, and they will try to impeach the President for no reason, so this is a vital election,” said Sharpton.

When asked about his thoughts regarding the Ebola situation and the coverage in the media, Shartpton says, ” I think the media has been hysterical, rather than informative.”

See the full interview below: