Press Releases

ECU // LAV Praises Reintroduction of John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

Sep 19, 2023

End Citizens United (ECU) // Let America Vote (LAV) Action Fund President Tiffany Muller released the following statement on the reintroduction of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act: 

“The landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law at a pivotal moment in our nation’s history when Jim Crow laws were disenfranchising Black Americans. The VRA has been a tremendous force for good, protecting access to the ballot box and ensuring that our democracy is more inclusive and representative of the American people. But over the last 10 years, the VRA has been so severely gutted by the right-wing Supreme Court that it’s a mere shadow of its former self. It has emboldened Republican state legislators to seize the opportunity to strip away this fundamental right. In the last three years alone, over 100 restrictive voting laws passed in 33 states.

“We’re grateful for Representative Sewell’s leadership in introducing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which is a fundamental step in protecting the freedom to vote by fully restoring the power of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It will ensure that any changes to voting rules cannot discriminate against voters based on race. Without these national standards, the ability of Black and minority voters to participate in our elections will hinge on the hostile, extremist Supreme Court.

“From his historic march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, to his decades of fighting for voting rights and social justice, Congressman John Lewis never gave up in the pursuit of America adhering to its core values and principles–that every American citizen’s voice deserves to be heard. Congress should honor his legacy and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act to ensure that our democracy is truly representative of the American people.”

Specifically, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act will restore the full power of the Voting Rights Act by:

  • Establishing new review and approval criteria for preventing racial discrimination in voting.

  • Requiring federal review of specific voting practices known to have been used to discriminate against voters of color.

  • Mandating greater nationwide transparency of voting law and policy changes.

  • Reinforcing voters’ ability to challenge racial discrimination in court.

  • Allowing voters of color to challenge voting changes that worsen their position.

  • Giving the U.S. Department of Justice more authority to investigate voting rights violations.

  • Expanding courts’ roles in protecting voting rights.

  • Expanding the federal observer program.