February 27, 2019

Warner & Kaine Introduce Voting Rights Advancement Act Of 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine joined 44 of their Senate colleagues to introduce the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 to restore and strengthen the landmark Voting Rights Act.

“There is no more sacred right as an American than the right to vote. Unfortunately, more than 50 years after the enactment of the landmark Voting Rights Act, and particularly after the Shelby County decision, many Americans still face barriers to fair participation in our elections,” said Warner. “This bill would restore the vital voter protections to ensure that all Americans have the unfettered access to the ballot box.”

“The right to vote is at the heart of American democracy, but hundreds of thousands of people are still denied that right today,” said Kaine. “More than 50 years after the original Voting Rights Act, Congress must not allow systematic disenfranchisement to continue to plague our elections. I’m proud to join my colleagues in this effort to protect voting rights and ensure voting is no longer treated as a privilege.”

In 2013, the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision gutted Section 5 of the landmark Voting Rights Act, consequently crippling the federal government’s ability to prevent discriminatory changes to state voting laws and procedures. In the wake of Shelby County, states across the country unleashed a torrent of voting restrictions that have made voting more difficult and systematically disenfranchised communities of color. The Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore and modernize Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, improve and modernize the landmark legislation, and provide the federal government with other critical tools to combat what has become a full-fledged assault on Americans’ right to vote.

Sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 is also cosponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Doug Jones (D-AL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Chris Coons (D-DE), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jack Reed (D-RI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ed Markey (D-MA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Patty Murray (D-WA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Angus King (I-ME), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tom Carper (D-DE), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Tom Udall (D-NM), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Jon Tester (D-MT), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).

The legislation is also supported by The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Brennan Center For Justice, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and the Human Rights Campaign.

The full text of the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 can be found here.

An outline of the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 can be found here.

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