The National Coalition for Accessible Voting has released the following statement praising the introduction of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. It can be viewed in PDF format as well as below.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Flynt
WASHINGTON, DC – The undersigned members of the National Coalition for Accessible Voting (NCAV) commends Representative Terri Sewell (D-AL07) for her championship and introduction of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R.14) and urges congress to enact this crucial piece of legislation, restore voting rights in America, and modernize protections once guaranteed by the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Legislative efforts proposed by states across the country, which are designed to suppress the vote of people with disabilities, people of color, young voters, and other minority groups have continued to skyrocket following a historic increase in voter turnout during the 2020 elections. The precedent behind enacting such laws on the state level stems from the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision, in which the United States Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965. Adding insult to injury, the Court further weakened the law in its decision in Brnovich v. DNC, making it more difficult to challenge discriminatory voting laws under Section 2 in July of 2021.
Prior to 2013, jurisdictions that were subject to pre-clearance under Section 5 of the VRA, and jurisdictions with known discriminatory practices were required to seek approval before enacting voting changes. In the Shelby County ruling, the Supreme Court struck down the formula used to determine what jurisdictions are subject to federal pre-clearance. Immediately, jurisdictions with known discriminatory practices were free to make fundamental alterations to their elections without the crucial civil rights protections offered by federal preclearance. Following the enactment of strict voter identification laws, voter purges, and polling place closures, voters have experienced an increase in being denied their fundamental right to have their voices heard on Election Day.
For the past several years, Congress has introduced legislation that would restore the pre-clearance provision of the VRA, including the Voting Rights Advancement Act, recently renamed as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 14). Congress must act to protect and restore voting rights in America, as voters need the protections of federal preclearance now more than ever. NCAV urges the House to take swift action and pass H.R.14.
American Association of People with Disabilities
Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL)
Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
Autism Society of America
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
National Association of State Independent Living Council (NASILC)
National Council on Independent Living
National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
Paralyzed Veterans of America
The Arc US
United Spinal Association
World Institute on Disability