Rep. Sewell’s Voting Rights Advancement Act Included in Democratic “Better Deal” Package
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, May 21, House and Senate Democratic Leaders held a press conference to introduce A Better Deal for Our Democracy. This agenda focuses on restoring voting rights, empowering the voices of American citizens, and ethics reform. The proposal includes the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA), a bill introduced by Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-AL), which would restore the Voting Rights Act (VRA) by reestablishing voter protections in states with a history of voter discrimination.
“If we want to build a stronger democracy, we have to engage and empower all American voters,” said Rep. Terri Sewell. “New strategies for disenfranchisement, from gerrymandering to strict voter ID laws, are keeping eligible citizens from having a meaningful voice in our elections, and the results are alarming. From healthcare to tax cuts, special interest groups and the wealthy are monopolizing the policymaking process. Today, Democrats are proposing a better deal: if you are an eligible voter, you are guaranteed a fair voice in our democracy. I am proud to see the VRAA included in the Better Deal for Democracy, and I believe that today’s announcement is an important step towards restoring the vote.”
The VRAA seeks to restore full protections to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 after the Supreme Court gutted the VRA on June 25, 2013. To address the Supreme Court’s concerns with the VRA, the VRAA creates a new coverage formula and applies to states with repeated voting rights violations in the last 25 years. Should this legislation pass into law, 13 states nationwide would be subject to federal election oversight due to a recent history of voter discrimination.
Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) is serving her fourth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional district. She sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was recently appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Sewell is a Chief Deputy Whip and serves on the prestigious Steering and Policy Committee of the Democratic Caucus. She is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus, and Vice Chair of Outreach for the New Democrat Coalition.