Bennet, Hickenlooper Reintroduce Landmark Voting Rights Bill

John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act Would Restore Voting Rights Act Protections Against Voter Suppression, Disenfranchisement

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper joined 47 of their colleagues in introducing legislation to restore the landmark Voting Rights Act (VRA) and stop the spread of voter suppression across the country. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is named for an icon of the Civil Rights movement, the late U.S. Congressman John Lewis, and updates legislation introduced in the last Congress.

“John Lewis fought his entire life to make our country more democratic, more fair,  and more free,” said Bennet. “He was dedicated to ensuring that every American has equal access to the ballot box and can exercise their protected right to shape our country’s future. As we face a wave of voter suppression unseen since Jim Crow, we must draw on John’s example and fight for our democracy. That means passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act without delay.”

“The freedom to vote is fundamental. With voting rights under attack across the country, Congress must pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to protect our democracy,” said Hickenlooper.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s damaging Shelby County decision in 2013 – which crippled the federal government’s ability under the 1965 Voting Rights Act to prevent discriminatory changes to voting laws and procedures – states across the country have unleashed a torrent of voter suppression efforts that have systematically disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters. The Supreme Court’s Brnovich decision earlier this year delivered another blow to the Voting Rights Act by making it harder for plaintiffs to win lawsuits under the landmark law against discriminatory voting laws or procedures.   

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is endorsed by the following leading civil rights organizations: Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), the Brennan Center for Justice, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

The bill text is available HERE. A section-by-section analysis of the bill is available HERE.