CONGRESSWOMAN NORTON INTRODUCES LEGISLATION CONDEMNING VOTER SUPPRESSION AROUND NATION AND IN D.C.

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[Congressional News\Voting Rights]
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton: “The Supreme Court’s 2013 decision that gutted the Voting Rights Act has been immeasurably harmful to our democracy. Following this decision, over a dozen states quickly moved to erect new barriers to voting, particularly targeting people of color, the elderly, and low-income residents."
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) introduced a House resolution today condemning restrictive state voting laws across the country that unconstitutionally deny voting rights to people of color, the elderly, and low-income residents.

Particularly, Norton criticized the Supreme Court's 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which struck down sections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, therefore allowing states and political subdivisions with a chronic history of passing restrictive voting laws to again disenfranchise voters. Norton’s resolution notes that, as a result, states have rushed to restrict early voting, require proof of citizenship, reduce the number of polling stations, decrease assistance at polling places, and added other restrictions on voting.

Norton says that Democrats have prioritized ending voter suppression this Congress. The House passed a broad voter enfranchisement bill earlier this year, H.R. 1, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) unveiled a sweeping proposal to combat voter disenfranchisement, including restoring and strengthening the Voting Rights Act, establishing national, automatic voter registration laws, and supporting D.C. statehood.

“The Supreme Court’s 2013 decision that gutted the Voting Rights Act has been immeasurably harmful to our democracy,” Norton said. “Following this decision, over a dozen states quickly moved to erect new barriers to voting, particularly targeting people of color, the elderly, and low-income residents. Federal appeals courts have struck down several of these laws, but judicial action to stop voter suppression laws is not enough. Congress must pass an updated Voting Rights Act that ensures every eligible American has access to the ballot box.

“We must also acknowledge that, by far, the worst instance of voter suppression in this nation is the continuing injustice of depriving taxpaying residents of the District of Columbia a vote in Congress. More than 700,000 residents are denied their congressional representation simply because of where we live – and we remain the only democracy in the world where residents in a nation’s capital are deprived of voting rights in the national legislature. To truly end voter suppression, we must end this practice wherever it occurs, especially in our own nation’s capital.”

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