Democrats Introduce Bill to Protect Voters from Overly Broad Voter Registration Purges
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Democratic Members of the House Committee on Administration introduced the SAVE VOTERS Act (H.R. 6122) – a bill to protect voters in their exercise of constitutional rights and end the harmful practice of states conducting overly broad voter roll purges.
The legislation, introduced by Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Robert A. Brady (D-Pa.), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), corrects the Supreme Court’s erroneous ruling in Husted v. A Philip Randolph Institute which threatens the right to vote for millions of Americans – particularly low-income, minority voters – and wrongly interprets the National Voter Registration Act, disregarding the intent of Congress.
“The Supreme Court’s wrongly decided ruling this week paves the way for massive voter disenfranchisement across the country,” said Reps. Brady, Lofgren, and Raskin. “It gives judicial blessing to a nationwide politically-motivated campaign to suppress voter turnout in communities of color and low-income families, and it is a threat to the basic foundations of our democracy.
“Under current law, states are required to remove individuals from voter registration rolls who have died or changed their address. There are many reasonable ways to approach this requirement. However, to use people’s failure to vote in just a single election as justification to remove them from the voter rolls is grossly overbroad. Only about 4% of Americans move outside their county each year, while a significantly higher percentage fails to vote. For example, approximately 59% of registered voters in Ohio did not cast a ballot in 2014. Targeting voters who failed to vote – while statistics indicate only 4% have actually moved – suggests the true motive is to block huge numbers of voters from exercising their constitutional right to participate in our democracy.
“The SAVE VOTERS Act will prohibit states from removing voters simply for failing to vote, and it will require states to use reasonable evidence in determining which voters may have moved. As Larry Harmon, the navy veteran who brought this lawsuit said, “I earned the right to vote. Whether I use it or not is up to my personal discretion. They don’t take away my right to buy a gun if I don’t buy a gun.””
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