Rep. Sewell Statement on U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Report on Voting Rights
WASHINGTON, D.C.– On Wednesday, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) released a new report which examines the state of voting rights in the United States. The report finds that in states across the country, and in particular in states previously covered by the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA), voter suppression tactics are trampling minority voting rights. The Commission is unanimously calling on Congress to restore and expand voter protections in the VRA. The full report by USCCR is available here.
“Today’s report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights should set off alarm bells for all Americans who care about the integrity of our elections and voter access to the polls,” said Rep. Terri Sewell. “Voting is a right, not a privilege, yet in state after state, USCCR finds that officials are working to suppress the vote of minority voters, disabled voters, and those with limited-English proficiency. Generations of Americans fought for our right to vote, and now it is our turn to defend that right for all Americans. Here in Congress, Democrats are proposing a better deal for our democracy with the Voting Rights Advancement Act, a bill which would restore and expand voter protections under the VRA. With midterm elections approaching, the American people deserve immediate action to protect the rights of all Americans to cast their ballot.”
Rep. Terri Sewell is the lead sponsor of the Voting Rights Advancement Act, a bill which 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.