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Congress Must Restore Voting Rights

Statement of Lisa Gilbert, Vice President of Legislative Affairs, Public Citizen

Note: The U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties met today to discuss continued nationwide voting discrimination and the pressing need for jurisdictions with a history of discrimination to seek pre-approval from the federal government before making changes to voting rules that could affect people of color, students, the elderly and people with disabilities. H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, has 224 co-sponsors and would address some of the more blatant ballot access attacks voters have seen recently in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Texas.

Americans want to know that our Congress is serious about restoring the critical federal protection of the franchise to millions of Americans who have had their voting rights curtailed, disregarded or outright eliminated since 2013’s disastrous Shelby v. Holder U.S. Supreme Court decision. Erecting barriers to vote for people of color and others is unconstitutional and degrades our democracy.

This Congress’ consideration and passage of H.R. 4 will be one big step to signal lawmakers’ intention to do something about these immoral voting rights attacks.