Press Release ● Voting Rights
For Immediate Release: 
August 18, 2020
Contact Info: 
Annaliese Davis 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment:

“One-hundred years ago today, the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified as a part of our Constitution, guaranteeing that women would no longer be denied the right to vote under law.  I join in commemorating the long battle that so many American women fought, including countless unsung women of color, to achieve this step toward fulfilling the promise of our democracy.  However, in the years that followed, too many women in this country were still denied that right – in particular, the millions of African-American women who were, along with African-American men, disenfranchised by many states.  It is undeniable that America has not always held to the Nineteenth Amendment, and neither has suffrage ensured full equality for all women in our country.  That is why this anniversary does not celebrate an end to the struggle for equality but must mark a renewal of that effort. 
“This centennial falls during a consequential election year and an unprecedented public health crisis, where we have witnessed new obstacles that challenge the right for women - and all Americans - to cast their votes.  In many states controlled by Republicans, rules are making it harder for Americans to participate in this year’s election by denying them the ability to vote by mail.  Meanwhile, millions are still being disenfranchised in many states as a result of discriminatory voter-ID rules, restrictions on voter registration, and the curtailment of early voting.  We must ensure that women – and all Americans – can exercise their vote to vote this year, which is why House Democrats have been taking critical action to secure our postal system and encourage more Americans to vote safely by mail or early.

“Beyond voting, we must continue the work to achieve true equality for all women.  That’s why House Democrats passed the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2019 and voted this year to accept that the Equal Rights Amendment has been duly ratified by a sufficient number of states to be enshrined in our Constitution.  It’s why we keep fighting for affordable child care and health care and for women’s reproductive freedom.  We will not back down in the fight for equality, inspired by the energy, ingenuity, and courage of the suffragists who won ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.  We will continue to harness that same passion and energy as we fight for voting rights for all, and I call on the Senate to act on the John Robert Lewis Voting Rights Act to restore the protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The progress made in 100 years is worthy of recognition, but we must look ahead, committed to the march of equality and progress for women’s rights and voting rights in our day and in the future.”