Voting Rights

Every election, Americans head to the polls to exercise their most fundamental right – the right to vote. Unfortunately, measures have been introduced by Republicans in states across the country that would make it harder for millions of eligible voters to register or vote. Republicans claim widespread voter fraud exists – despite overwhelming evidence that fraud is rare and has no significant impact on elections – and are passing laws that require strict government-issued, current photo identification or that would restrict opportunities for early voting. These laws disproportionally affect the poor, young people, and minorities. Many student identification cards don’t meet state requirements, nearly one in four African Americans don’t carry the necessary forms of identification, and African-Americans and Latinos are more likely to vote early compared to other groups.

House Democrats will not stand for these partisan efforts to hinder access to the ballot. In 2012, Whip Hoyer joined Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) in unveiling comprehensive voting rights legislation, the Voter Empowerment Act, to respond to these forms of voter suppression. This legislation will modernize voter registration, ensure equal access to the ballot box for all Americans, and prohibit deceptive practices and voter fraud that keep people from exercising their constitutional right to vote.

House Democrats were deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate the pre-clearance formula under the Voting Rights Act. Following the ruling, Whip Hoyer, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and others introduced the Voting Rights Amendment Act, a commonsense and bipartisan response that will restore important voter protections. Democrats continue to urge House Republican leaders to allow consideration of this bill so that we can assure all Americans that their right to vote will be protected. 

Democratic Whip Issue Reports

January 5, 2016
August 6, 2014
June 26, 2014