Skip to content

Video: Kaine Delivers Floor Speech Honoring Gov. Holton & Calling For Passage Of Voting Rights Bill

You can watch video of his remarks here

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine spoke on the Senate floor honoring the legacy of his father-in-law, former Virginia Governor Linwood Holton, including his work to end racial segregation and discriminatory voting practices like poll taxes. During his speech, Kaine also pushed for passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, legislation Kaine introduced to restore the full protections of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) and stop voter suppression. The Senate will vote on this legislation later today.

“I stand on the floor to ask my colleagues in the memory of my father-in-law — a Republican who was my political hero, who was a pro-voting rights person, as the Republican party has been during much of its life — I ask my colleagues to join together and support vigorous participation of voters in this democracy,” Kaine said.

During the speech, Kaine also spoke about the record turnout during yesterday’s election in Virginia, a 25% increase since the last governor’s race, in part thanks to reforms passed by the General Assembly to make voting more convenient. He said about the election, “It wasn't the outcome that I wanted, but creating more opportunities for voting rights just wasn't to help the Democratic party. It was actually to help small ‘d’ democracy. In the same way that my father-in-law battled against poll taxes, and when they were knocked down, there were more people willing to participate, the reforms we made in Virginia have enabled both Democrats and Republicans and Independents to participate more conveniently, and thus, driven up voting turnout.”

In September, Kaine introduced the Freedom to Vote Act to improve access to the ballot for Americans, advance commonsense election integrity reforms, and protect our democracy from attacks. The Freedom to Vote Act contains provisions expanding voting by mail, early voting, and taking other steps to make voting easier and safer, while the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would prevent undue restrictions on the right to vote by restoring the Department of Justice’s power to review potential restrictive changes to voting rules. Kaine is pushing for passage of both bills to protect voting rights.