Beatty Bill Protects the People’s Right to Vote
WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Chair of the powerful Congressional Black Caucus, introduced today the Save Voters Act, a piece of legislation to prohibit states from using the same type of questionable voter purge tactics that Ohio has used to take tens of thousands of eligible voters off the voting rolls.
“The right to vote is not a ‘use-it or lose-it’ proposition. Rather, voting is a permanent guarantee that is the very lifeblood of our nation,” Beatty said. “To sit back and allow that right to be restricted or removed over something as minor as failing to respond to a postcard is unthinkable, especially when it is particularly harmful for communities of color, veterans, and vulnerable populations.” She continued, “As the Representative of Ohio’s Third Congressional District and Congressional Black Caucus Chair, I will continue to do everything in my power toward making it easier—not harder—for people to vote.”
“After record levels of voter turnout during a global pandemic, it’s appalling that Republicans are trying to make voting harder, especially for many Black and brown voters,” Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause, said. “Americans who chose not to vote during the pandemic should not be potentially purged from the voter rolls, and we commend Congresswoman Beatty for introducing the Save Voters Act to help protect the voices of all eligible voters.”
Specifically, the Save Voters Act would bar states from purging potential voters based on their failure to vote or respond to a written notice, unless the notice is returned as undeliverable. The bill also requires that a state must inform a voter when they are removed from the rolls and include the reason for removal and information on how to contest removal or be reinstated. Further, states would need to disseminate a public notice within 48 hours of conducting any general program to remove names from the official list of eligible voters, informing the public that list maintenance is taking place and that registrants should check their voter status.
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