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U.S. Senators Shaheen, Hassan Join Durbin, Warnock, Schumer and Other Colleagues to Reintroduce John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined a group of 50 U.S. Senators, led by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Reverand Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), along with U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Laphonza Butler (D-CA), to reintroduce the John R. Lewis Voting Advancement Act, legislation that would update and restore critical safeguards of the original Voting Rights Act. 

“Participating in elections is the foundation of our democracy, and every eligible voter should have equal access to the ballot box to vote as protected by the Constitution,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m glad to work with this group of lawmakers to reintroduce the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which honors John Lewis' lifelong dedication to protecting and strengthening civil liberties and voting rights.”

“Protecting the right to vote is essential to preserving American democracy,” said Senator Hassan. “As we continue to see partisan efforts that threaten Americans’ fundamental right to vote, it is more important than ever that the Senate safeguard voting rights and honor Congressman Lewis’ legacy by passing the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.”

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s damaging Shelby County decision in 2013—which crippled the federal government’s ability under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to prevent discriminatory changes to voting laws and procedures—states across the country have unleashed a torrent of voter suppression schemes that have systematically disenfranchised tens of thousands of American voters.  The Supreme Court’s decision in Brnovich delivered yet another blow to the Voting Rights Act, by making it significantly harder for plaintiffs to win lawsuits under the landmark law against discriminatory voting laws or procedures.

The legislation is cosponsored by 50 U.S. Senators: U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Thomas R. Carper (D-DE), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Warner (D-VA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chris Coons (D-DE), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King (I-ME), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Edward Markey (D-MA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tina Smith (D-MN), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), John W. Hickenlooper, Jr. (D-CO), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Peter Welch (D-VT) and John Fetterman (D-PA).

The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is endorsed by hundreds of organizations, including the following leading civil rights organizations: Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, American Civil Liberties Union, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), MALDEF, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law and Demos.

The full text of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act can be found here.

A section-by-section analysis of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act can be found here.