Rep. Payne, Jr. Votes to Strengthen Voter Rights

Dec 6, 2019

Media Contact:    Patrick Wright -- (202) 225-3436 -- patrick.wright@mail.house.gov

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. wants to protect the voting rights of all Americans from state policies that violate those rights.            

Congressman Payne, Jr. voted for the Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R.4) today, a bill that would require states that have violated federal voting laws multiple times to get permission from the federal government before they can change voting practices.  The bill would apply to states that have committed 15 or more violations within a 25-year period or 10 violations in that 25-year period if the state was directly responsible for at least one of the violations.           

Congressman Payne, Jr. said the bill was necessary because there was no way to punish states when they continue to violate voter’s rights.  

“We need to protect the vote of all Americans because the vote is the core of our democracy,” said Congressman Payne, Jr.  “Unfortunately, too many states have tried to limit the power of the vote in certain communities, particular communities of color.  This bill would restore faith in their right to vote and trust in our democratic system.  For too many Americans, the power of the vote is the only power they have.”

The bill became necessary because some states have established voter registration rules and other policies that seek to limit which citizens would be eligible to vote.  The U.S. Constitution makes it clear that states are responsible for the rules and policies regarding how they conduct elections.  But recent state court decisions have said that the voting rules and policies of certain states violate federal voter rights, even when state officials have claimed they protected them.        

 

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