Butterfield on House Passage of Historic Voting Rights Legislation
Washington, D.C. – Today, Subcommittee on Elections Chairman G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) issued the following statement after the House passed H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, legislation to restore the full strength of the Voting Rights Act.
“Generations of Americans have marched, protested, and bled for the right to vote. Our dear colleague, the late Congressman John Lewis, worked for a lifetime to ensure equal access to the ballot. It is because of his fight and so many others that, for nearly 50 years, the Voting Rights Act helped ensure every American had a say in key decisions that impact their lives and served as powerful force against efforts to deny the right to vote.
“With every step toward justice, we have seen efforts to turn back the progress so many fought to achieve. When the Supreme Court weakened the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder, it weakened the promise of our democracy. Today, without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act, extreme politicians in state legislatures across the country have enacted 30 anti-voter laws in 18 states since the start of the year that aim to prevent Americans from casting their ballots freely, safely, and equally.
“From registering to vote to casting their ballot, Black, Latino, Native American, Asian American, young, and new Americans across the nation face deliberate barriers to voting. As the Subcommittee on Elections found after collecting thousands of pages of evidence and hearing hours of testimony in our investigatory hearings, it is imperative that Congress enact legislation to protect the right to vote.
“Today, the House joins those generations of Americans who fought to secure a Voting Rights Act that protects the fundamental right to vote for all Americans. H.R. 4’s new preclearance formula will restore the heart of the Voting Rights Act, protect standards for voting access, and make the promise of democracy real for us all.”
Throughout the 117th Congress, Subcommittee on Elections Chairman G. K. Butterfield has led the Subcommittee in a series of investigatory hearings on voting rights and election administration in America. He has gathered testimony from experts, witnesses, and election administrators about the impact of discriminatory voting laws on free and fair access to the ballot.
The Subcommittee’s findings, recently released in its staff report “Voting in America: Ensuring Free and Fair Access to the Ballot,” were instrumental to crafting H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Click here to view the Subcommittee on Elections Report.
# # #