August 30, 2021

House Passes the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act

On Tuesday, the House passed the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4) with a 219-to-212 vote. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL) introduced the bill earlier this month and more than 190 members signed on as co-sponsors.

The bill reinstates key portions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court struck down in 2013. Specifically, it will restore the requirement for Southern states to get “pre-clearance” from the U.S. Attorney General or federal judges before making election or voting law changes. Another important piece of voting rights legislation, the For the People Act (H.R. 1), has been stalled in the Senate after a Republican filibuster in June.

Eighteen states have already enacted voter suppression laws restricting the availability of drop boxes, voting by mail and other voting procedures used by older voters. “The right to vote is sacred and no one should have to face unnecessary barriers to cast a ballot,” said Alliance Executive Director Richard Fiesta. “The Senate must pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and other crucial voting rights legislation like H.R. 1.”

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