Congresswoman Terri Sewell Signs Discharge Petition to Force Vote on Bill to Restore the Voting Rights Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Representative Terri Sewell signed a discharge petition to bring to the House Floor and force an immediate vote on H.R. 2867—Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 (VRAA), an bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Sewell last year. June 25 will mark the third anniversary of the Shelby County v. Holder decision by the Supreme Court that struck down a key component of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that identified and attacked discrimination before it occurred. As a result, many states around the country, including Alabama, introduced restrictive voting laws preventing eligible Americans from easy access to the ballot box. New restrictions have been put in place in 22 states – 18 of them Republican led –since 2010, making it much harder for millions of Americans to exercise their right to vote.
“For three years, Congress has failed to act to restore the full protection of the Voting Rights Act.
House Republicans are not at a loss for words but are certainly at a loss for action when it comes to the issue of voting rights in our democracy,” said Rep. Sewell. “Actions speak louder than words. If House Republicans claim to support voting rights, their words must be manifested through their actions and votes. We must not continue to drag our feet on this serious matter”.
I am proud to join the Democratic Caucus’ effort to force an immediate vote on legislation that I introduced to restore and strengthen the Voting Rights Act. America represents the greatest democracy in the world. How can we claim that title when the path to the ballot box continues to be obstructed by restrictive laws that make voting harder and not easier for eligible voters? The answer is this—we cannot. We must renew our commitment to protecting the right to vote for all Americans.
“By passing the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015, Congress provides a modern day coverage test to restore the preclearance provisions gutted by the Shelby v. Holder decision. Congress has an obligation and the responsibility to address the threat to free and fair access to the polls through federal legislation to restore and strengthen the Voting Rights Act. I call on House Republican leadership to allow an immediate vote on the bipartisan Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015.”