Press Release ● Voting Rights
For Immediate Release: 
July 19, 2017
Contact Info: 

Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the first meeting of President Trump's commission to suppress the vote:  

“Today’s convening of President Trump’s new commission to suppress the vote represents a new low in Republicans’ partisan efforts to endanger Americans’ most fundamental right to participate equally in our democracy.  It is no less than an attempt to reshape our electorate to exclude millions.  That this new commission will be led by a state official notorious for purging voter rolls and making ballot access more restrictive is further evidence of its true purpose.  Already it has demonstrated the nefarious tactics it promises to employ, including the demand for tens of millions of Americans’ private information, which could be used to intimidate voters and restrict their right to vote.  Disturbingly, we have already heard reports of some voters de-registering in order to protect their personal information from being taken by the Trump Administration – no doubt one of the ways this commission seeks to suppress the vote. 

“The launching of this commission, though, is not the only threat to Americans’ right to vote that Republicans have undertaken.  House Republicans recently unveiled a funding bill that would close the critically important Election Assistance Commission (EAC), established by the Help America Vote Act that I introduced and worked to pass in 2002.  The EAC helps states share and implement best practices in voting technology and provides resources to help protect voter data and keep voting accountable.  It is the watchdog for American voters, providing peace of mind that when their ballots are cast they will be counted accurately.  House Republicans would be wise to abandon this effort to shut the EAC down.  Instead, they ought to work with Democrats to ensure that the EAC has all the tools it needs to protect our election systems, especially given the ongoing threat from Russia seeking to subvert them through cyber attacks. 

“Democrats will not yield in our defense of every eligible voter’s right to cast a ballot and have a voice in our democracy.  We will stand up for the EAC and oppose this new Trump commission to suppress Americans’ votes.  Too many of our fellow Americans have died in defense of representative government and for the cause of voting rights for us to allow any politician to subvert our democracy for partisan gain.”