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For Immediate Release

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Press Release

Senate Introduces & Must Pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to Protect the Freedom to Vote from Racial Discrimination

Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause President
WASHINGTON -

Every American deserves the freedom to vote regardless of our color, background or zip code, but that freedom is under siege in many states. The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, introduced in the Senate today, will protect the freedom of every American to cast a ballot and have a say in decisions that impact our lives—from combatting the pandemic to creating jobs to making health care affordable.

The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act has already been passed by the House, and it is critical that the Senate follow suit. The legislation will repair much of the damage done to the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts. In concert with the Freedom to Vote Act, this legislation will curb the coordinated effort by Republican state legislatures across the country to silence Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian American Pacific Islander voters who showed up to vote in the 2020 elections in record numbers. Already this year, 19 states have enacted 33 restrictive voting bills that make it harder for Americans to have a say in choosing our elected leaders.

Voting rights should never be a partisan issue, and for decades it wasn’t. Many current GOP Senators have backed strong voting rights protections in the past. In fact, ten current Republican Senators voted for the Voting Rights Act reauthorization when it passed the Senate 98-0 in 2006 only one week after it was passed by the House. If 10 Senate Republicans will not support this bill, then Senate Democrats must reform the filibuster. Every American deserves the freedom to vote and that freedom must be protected by our elected leaders. Now is the time they must do so by passing the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.

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Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

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