Election Subcommittee Chairperson Marcia L. Fudge Releases Report on Voting Rights and Elections Administration

Nov 13, 2019
Press Release
Report details an array of tactics used to suppress the votes of targeted communities

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Chairperson Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio) of the Subcommittee on Elections of the Committee on House Administration released a report on Voting Rights and Elections Administration in the United States of America.

At the outset of the 116th Congress, the Committee on House Administration reconstituted the Subcommittee on Elections, which House Republicans had eliminated six years earlier. The Subcommittee, chaired by Representative Fudge, took Congress to the American people, engaged with voters, stakeholders, officials and election administrators, and collected testimony and evidence on the state of voting rights and election administration to ensure every eligible American has equal and fair access to the ballot and the confidence their ballot is counted as cast.

“Nearly 6 years after the Supreme Court decided Shelby County v. Holder, this report makes clear that voter suppression and discrimination still exist,” said Chairperson Fudge. “It is our duty as elected Members of Congress to uphold and defend the Constitution and protect the rights of the voter. America is great because of her ability to repair her faults. It is time for us to set the right example as a democracy and encourage people to vote, rather than continuing to erect barriers that seek to suppress the vote and the voices of our communities.”

In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down portions of the 2006 Voting Rights Act reauthorization in Shelby County v. Holder, leaving American voters vulnerable to tactics of suppression and discrimination. Writing for the majority in the 5-4 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged that “voting discrimination still exists; no one doubts that.” However, the Court found the preclearance coverage formula could “no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdictions to preclearance.” He wrote: “The [15th] Amendment is not designed to punish for the past; its purpose is to ensure a better future. To serve that purpose, Congress – if it is to divide the States – must identify those jurisdictions to be singled out on a basis that makes sense in light of current conditions.”

To collect the contemporaneous evidence called for by the Chief Justice, the Subcommittee held hearings in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, and Washington D.C.. An inaugural listening session was also held in Texas. The Subcommittee found an array of tactics in place used to suppress the votes of targeted communities and barriers that impede the free exercise of the right to vote. In the course of its investigation, the Subcommittee collected over 3,000 pages of wide-ranging testimony and evidence, which form the basis of the report released today.

In particular, the Subcommittee found persistent discrimination in voting law changes such as purging voter registration rolls, cut backs to early voting, polling place closures and movement, voter ID requirements, implementation of exact match and signature match requirements, lack of language access and assistance, and discriminatory gerrymandering of legislative districts and the state, local, and federal level. The report also found Native Americans are disproportionately targeted and impacted by voter ID laws and polling place closures.

Click here to view the Subcommittee on Elections Report on Voting Rights and Election Administration in the United States of America.

Click below for the evidence and testimony collected at Subcommittee hearings:

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116th Congress