Fighting to Protect Voting Rights

Voting Rights
Democrats are working to restore voting protections and ensure every American can exercise the right to vote.

Every election, Americans head to the polls to exercise their most fundamental right – the right to vote. Unfortunately, Republicans at the state and federal levels have launched an unprecedented attack on voting rights. Over the past few years, measures have been introduced by Republicans in state legislatures across the country that would make it harder for millions of eligible voters to register or vote. This summer, House Republicans unveiled a funding bill that would shut down the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which was established by the Help America Vote Act in 2002.  The EAC helps states share and implement best practices in voting technology and provides resources to help protect voter data and keep voting accountable. 

In addition, President Trump continues to make unsubstantiated claims that millions of Americans voted illegally in the last election, and he has launched a commission to suppress voting and exclude millions of eligible voters from casting their ballot.  The commission is led by a state official known for purging voter rolls and making ballot access more restrictive, and one of the first acts of the commission was to demand Americans’ private information, which could be used to intimidate voters and restrict their right to vote.  Already, there have been reports of some voters de-registering in order to protect their personal information from being taken by the Trump Administration.

House Democrats will not stand for these partisan efforts to hinder access to the ballot. In June, House Democrats reintroduced the Voter Empowerment Act in the House of Representatives to ensure equal access to the ballot for every eligible voter by modernizing our voter registration system to help more Americans participate and taking steps to eliminate deceptive practices that deter voters from casting their ballots. House Democrats have also introduced the Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore the voting rights protections struck down by the Supreme Court in the flawed Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder.

Democrats continue to urge House Republican leaders to bring these bills to the Floor so that we can assure all Americans that their right to vote will be protected.

Voting Rights Related

I’m pleased to be joining Civil Rights Movement hero Rep. John Lewis, Assistant Leader Clyburn, Ranking Member Conyers, and Ranking Member Brady today to reintroduce the Voter Empowerment Act.


Mr. Speaker, I was proud to join many Members of this House in Birmingham, Selma, and Montgomery, Alabama, from March 6th to 8th to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of ‘Bloody Sunday,’  which led inexorably to the signing of the Voting Rights Act in August of that same year in 1965.


Thank you Saint John. What a wonderful experience this is for all of us. We owe [Representative] John [Lewis] and Doug [Tanner, Founder of the Faith & Politics Institute] for what they achieved in the past and for all that they continue to do today through the Faith & Politics Institute. 


This weekend we mark the 50th anniversary of ‘Bloody Sunday,’ when on March 7, 1965, a determined group of Civil Rights activists set out from Selma on a march to the State Capitol in Montgomery to demand the right to register and to vote. 


Today the Congress came together in a spirit of bipartisanship to honor those who marched for voting rights in Selma fifty years ago. 


I am deeply concerned and disappointed by comments from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte that Congress does not need to take corrective action to address the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Shelby v Holder, which guts one of the most important and effective provisions ever enacted to combat voter discrimination. 


I am pleased that the Senate has finally confirmed three of the four commissioners to lead the Election Assistance Commission after a disturbingly long vacancy period. 


House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the anniversary of the enactment of the Help America Vote Act, which was signed into law on October 29, 2002:


I am very disappointed that the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that early voting in Ohio can be rolled back by that state’s Republican-led legislature, which has joined other Republican-led states in curtailing access to the ballot.  


Let me tell you, Wade Henderson, Steny Hoyer used to be the Majority Leader. Steny Hoyer had the power as the Majority Leader to put a bill on the Floor or keep it off the Floor. If Steny Hoyer were the Majority Leader of the House, and Nancy Pelosi was the Speaker of the House, this bill would be on the Floor.


Today we mark the forty-ninth anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act, which will forever rank as one of the most successful pieces of Civil Rights legislation enacted for creating a process to combat racial discrimination in voting.