Washington, D.C. – January 16, the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (VRAA) was introduced by Representatives James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), John Conyers (D-MI), Bobby Scott (D-VA) and John Lewis (D-GA) in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bipartisan legislation was carefully crafted to protect the rights of all voters from discrimination and repair the damage to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 inflicted by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby v. Holder.
“The League is pleased that Congress has taken action and introduced strong legislation on behalf of all voters’ rights,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, national President of the League of Women Voters. “We are encouraged that lawmakers have come together – across the aisle – to forge workable and common sense solutions to protect voting rights against discrimination.”
“The Sensenbrenner bill is a balanced and reasonable approach to tackling the very real problem of discrimination that continues to plague our nation in so many forms, including at the ballot box,” MacNamara said. “Already, in the few months since the Supreme Court’s Shelby decision, dozens of cities and towns made changes to their election laws and voting processes, many of which may very well keep eligible voters from being able to vote.”
“Each and every eligible American voter deserves to be treated fairly at the ballot box,” said MacNamara. “When you make the work of governing about fairness and not about politics and winning elections, all voters win. That is what has happened with the VRRA: elected leaders coming together to ensure that everyone has an equal right and equal access to vote,” MacNamara stated.
“The Supreme Court’s Shelby decision was a profound disappointment,” concluded MacNamara, “but at the time we also believed it would be a great call to action by those who believe in free and fair access by every eligible voter. Today, Congress has begun to act with this important first step and voters must also act and vote at every opportunity.”