Washington, DC (May 17, 2012) – The League of Women Voters supports the goals of the new Voter Empowerment Act introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

“The right to vote is under attack in too many states across the country,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, national President of the League of Women Voters.  “For example, in Florida there have been cutbacks in early voting and rigid new restrictions on community-based voter registration drives have been imposed,” she said. 

“We believe every eligible citizen should be able to register to vote.  Every voter should be able to cast a ballot,” MacNamara said.

“The Voter Empowerment Act takes important steps to protect voters, including a new system for online voter registration and improvements in the provisional balloting system to ensure that all eligible citizens have their votes counted,” according to MacNamara. 

“We are facing an assault on voters that is one of the greatest self-inflicted threats to our democracy in our lifetimes.  They threaten to silence the voices of those least heard and rarely listened to in this country – the poor, the elderly, racial and ethnic minorities, the young and persons with disabilities,” MacNamara said.  “It is important for members of Congress to stand up against assaults on our voting rights,” she added.

“The League of Women Voters has fought for voting rights for all citizens for the past 92 years and will continue the fight as long as this most fundamental right is under attack,” MacNamara stated. “We are hopeful that the wave of voter suppression laws will be struck down in each and every state and come November every eligible citizen will be able to exercise their right to vote and have their vote counted without additional, unnecessary and costly barriers. We stand ready to continue our efforts to defend voters and their right to vote and look forward to working with members of Congress in doing this,” concluded MacNamara.

CONTACT: Kelly Ceballos, kceballos@lwv.org