House Vote to Restore Voting Rights Will Send Strong Message to U.S. Senators

Statements from Public Citizen Experts

Note: The U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, to address some of the more blatant ballot access attacks voters have seen recently in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Arizona and Texas. Voters in these states and others have faced increased nationwide voting discrimination since 2013’s abysmal Shelby v. Holder U.S. Supreme Court decision which released states with a history of discrimination from seeking pre-approval from the U.S. Justice Department before making changes to voting rules.

“Passage of H.R. 4 is a critical step. It sends the long-sought signal that lawmakers intend to do something about immoral voting rights attacks against Americans. Over the past six years, numerous state legislatures have undertaken targeted and deliberate steps to limit or impede the right to vote for communities of color, students, the elderly and people with disabilities.

“Americans who are eligible to vote but are denied that right due to fabricated or illegal barriers are being deprived of the full privilege of our democracy. Voting in elections is at the core of our democracy, and today’s House vote is a message to the U.S. Senate and Leader McConnell that the people’s right to franchise will no longer yield to voter suppression.”

     -Lisa Gilbert, vice president of Legislative Affairs, Public Citizen

“It is utterly unconscionable that our nation has backtracked on the voting rights progress achieved after passage of the Voting Rights Act. That’s why it is so consequential that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed H.R. 4, in order to undo the damage done by the U.S. Supreme Court in its shameful Shelby County decision, and to deliver on the basic ‘one person, one vote’ promise of our democracy.”

     -Robert Weissman, president, Public Citizen