Congresswoman Beatty Votes to Protect Equal Access to Voting
U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty recently joined with 227 of her congressional colleagues to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act, H.R. 4, critical legislation to restore the full strength of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA), following the disastrous Supreme Court Shelby v. Holder decision, which gutted the VRA’s ability to combat voter suppression and discrimination. Since the Shelby v. Holder decision, at least 23 states have enacted voter suppression laws, including voter purges, strict ID requirements, poll closures, and curtailing of early voting hours.
“Nearly 55 years after the Voting Rights Act enshrined the sacred right to vote into law, access to the ballot box is under unprecedented threat,” Beatty said. “We have seen numerous, partisan voter suppression campaigns spring up across America, silencing the most vulnerable and underrepresented communities.” Beatty exclaimed, “That is why I joined my colleagues to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act and to restore vital voter protections so that every eligible Central Ohioan voter can have their voice heard.”
The Voting Rights Advancement Act reestablishes full protections for voters in states with a recent and long history of discrimination. Among its key provisions, the bill:
- provides a new coverage formula that determines which jurisdictions are subject to preclearance to better ensure that every eligible American voter has full access to the ballot box; and
- also establishes “practice-based preclearance,” focusing administrative or judicial review on practices that are most likely to be tainted by discriminatory intent or to have discriminatory effects, as demonstrated by a broad historical record.
“The right to vote is the very foundation of our democracy,” Beatty continued. “Generations of brave, patriotic Americans have fought, marched, and shed blood to safeguard and expand that right. In passing the Voting Rights Advancement Act, House Democrats are honoring our promises ‘for the people’ to safeguard the right to vote for generations to come.”
H.R. 4 is supported by a wide range of nonpartisan organizations, including the NAACP, American Association of University Women, League of Women Voters of the United States, National Education Association, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and Native American Rights Fund.
The Voting Rights Advancement Act is now awaiting further consideration in the U.S. Senate.