WASHINGTON — Today the US House of Representatives introduced the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a bill that will restore the Voting Rights Act and strengthen the freedom to vote.
“At this critical moment in our nation’s history, as the right to vote remains under threat, we need the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act more than ever,” said Dr. Deborah Ann Turner, board president of the League of Women Voters of the United States. “Since the 2020 election, hundreds of bills in states around the country have been introduced in an attempt to roll back voter access. We need legislation that prevents discrimination at the ballot box so that all voters have an equal right to make their voices heard.”
Since the Supreme Court first rolled back key provisions of the Voting Rights Act in the 2013 decision of Shelby County v. Holder, states have enacted discriminatory voting policies and practices including unjust voter purges, closing polling places in communities of color, and restrictive voter photo ID requirements.
“The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act will restore the Voting Rights Act to its original protections by reviewing and blocking anti-voter policies that too often target voters of color,” said Turner. “The League is proud to support legislation that establishes transparency for protecting the freedom to vote.”
In July 2021 the Supreme Court decision in the case of Brnovich v. DNC made it harder to challenge voter discrimination in the courts. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act will provide the federal government with tools to review and challenge future discriminatory voting laws before they are implemented.
“We need the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act now, before our next cycle of federal elections,” said Turner. “The Voting Rights Act has long had bipartisan support, and we call on every member of Congress to support this legislation that will strengthen our democracy and guarantee the protection of every voter in our nation.”
The League of Women Voters strongly supports both the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the For the People Act. Together, these two pieces of legislation will create national standards for voting rights that ensure all Americans can safely and freely cast their ballots, that every voice is heard, and that our elections reflect the will of all the people.
CONTACT: Sarah Courtney | 202-263-1332 | [email protected]
The League joined a letter led by the Leadership Conference in support of two critical pieces of legislation needed to protect the freedom to vote: For the People Act (FTPA) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA). Passage of both bills is essential to counter the unprecedented wave of voter suppression laws advancing in the states and to protect Americans from further encroachments on their rights. Passing one without the other simply will not be sufficient to ensure that all Americans—and particularly Americans of color—have meaningful and equal access to the ballot.