Advancement Project National Office Applauds the Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The legislation restores key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and helps prevent racial discrimination in voting by requiring states to obtain federal approval before enacting specific types of voting changes known to be racially discriminatory. The legislation also restores voters’ ability to challenge racial discrimination in court. Advancement Project National Office, a national racial justice and civil rights organization, released the following statement:
“We applaud the efforts of the U.S. House of Representatives to restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and combat racial discrimination in voting,” said Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of Advancement Project National Office. “In order to create a just and inclusive democracy, we need to restore our voting rights to their full strength and hold states accountable when they try to rig our elections in favor of the powerful and the wealthy.
“Every voter, no matter their skin color or zip code should have the freedom to vote in elections that are free, fair, accessible and safe,” continued Dianis. “Racial discrimination in voting remains persistent and extensive. Almost every state in the country has either introduced or passed legislation that makes it harder for people to vote. These laws target Black and Brown communities precisely because they are growing numerically and growing in political power at the polls. Yet communities of color refuse to be silent and have created a national groundswell of support for federal voting rights legislation. The Senate must act on the will of the people and pass critical democracy legislation like the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the For the People Act.
“The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act’s expanded and updated pre-clearance formula blocking voter suppression is both necessary and constitutional. This formula, which determines which jurisdictions will need to have voting changes approved by the federal government is now able to take into account not only the historic voter suppression efforts of a state, but also any contemporary tactics it has used to block access to the ballot box, especially as redistricting unfolds. In states like Florida, which have already passed voter suppression legislation, the John Lewis Voting Right Advancement Act will allow the federal government to block such laws from being implemented and harming voters. We know that this will be critical to protecting the rights of Black, Native, and Latinx voters, as well as Asian American Pacific Islanders. The passage of H.R. 4 is a strong first step in ensuring the federal government has a robust toolbox to block voter suppression before it occurs.”
Advancement Project National Office is a next-generation, multi-racial civil rights organization. Rooted in the great human rights struggles for equality and justice, we exist to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy. We use innovative tools and strategies to strengthen social movements and achieve high impact policy change. Visit www.advancementproject.org to learn more.