CONGRESSMAN JOE MORELLE TAKES ACTION TO STRENGTHEN VOTING RIGHTS AND COMBAT DISCRIMINATION
(Washington, DC) – Today, Congressman Joe Morelle voted to pass H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, to strengthen voting rights for all Americans and combat voter discrimination. The legislation, which Rep. Morelle co-sponsors, restores the full protections of the original Voting Rights Act of 1965 and includes updates that respond to the unique challenges of today’s voting process.
“Free and fair elections are the bedrock of our democracy, so we must be vigilant in protecting the sacred right of every American to vote,” said Rep. Morelle. “Unfortunately, too many communities—especially communities of color—have experienced discrimination and voter suppression tactics that prevent citizens from exercising that right. I’m proud to co-sponsor and vote to pass this critical legislation to strengthen voting rights and ensure everyone who calls this nation home has the opportunity to make their voice heard at the ballot box.”
In 2013, a Supreme Court decision altered the original Voting Rights Act of 1965, paving the way for states to enact sweeping voter suppression laws that disproportionately impact communities of color. These tactics include stringent voter identification laws, unfairly purging voters from election rolls, moving polling locations, and more. The Voting Rights Advancement Act takes action to combat these discriminatory practices and protect the fundamental right of every American to vote.
Specifically, the bill:
- Establishes a targeted process for reviewing voting changes in jurisdictions nationwide, focusing on measures that have historically been used to discriminate against voters;
- Increases transparency by requiring reasonable public notice for voting changes;
- Gives the Attorney General authority to request the presence of federal observers anywhere in the country where there is a serious threat of racial discrimination in voting;
- Creates a new coverage formula that hinges on a finding of repeated voting rights violations in the preceding 25 years.
The legislation is supported by more than 60 national organizations, including the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, American Civil Liberties Union, League of Women Voters of the United States, and more.