Restoring Voting Rights

Voting Rights
Democrats are working to restore voting protections and ensure every American can exercise the right to vote.
Every election, Americans head to the polls to exercise their most fundamental right – the right to vote. Unfortunately, Republicans at the state and federal levels have launched an unprecedented attack on voting rights. Over the past few years, measures have been introduced by Republicans in state legislatures across the country that would make it harder for millions of eligible voters to register or vote. Congressional Republicans have worked to shut down the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which was established by the Help America Vote Act 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.
 
In addition, President Trump continues to make unsubstantiated claims that millions of Americans voted illegally in the last election, and he launched a commission to suppress voting and exclude millions of eligible voters from casting their ballot.  The commission is led by a state official known for purging voter rolls and making ballot access more restrictive, and one of the first acts of the commission was to demand Americans’ private information, which could be used to intimidate voters and restrict their right to vote.  Already, there have been reports of some voters de-registering in order to protect their personal information from being taken by the Trump Administration.
 
House Democrats will not stand for these partisan efforts to hinder access to the ballot. In December 2019, House Democrats passed the Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore the voting rights protections struck down by the Supreme Court in the flawed Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder. Earlier in 2019, the House passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act, which makes it easier for Americans to exercise their right to vote. House Democrats have also passed the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act, legislation to safeguard our democracy and prevent foreign interference in our elections. The legislation authorizes a grant program to assist states in securing election infrastructure, among other provisions that improve the security and integrity of our elections.
 
House committees will continue to work on additional legislation to protect voting rights, strengthen election security, and stop continued efforts by foreign entities to subvert our democracy. 
Voting Rights Related
Wanted to be sure you saw this op-ed by Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) in The Hill today.  In light of the latest warnings of foreign interference in the midterms, Whip Hoyer calls on the Republican-led Congress to take action now to protect our elections and provide states with the necessary resources to secure their election infrastructure.  To read the op-ed, click here or see below:

THE HILL

8/7/18
A century and a half ago, after the great struggle to end the evil of slavery, Congress and the states ratified the Fourteenth Amendment, enshrining into our Constitution the principle that all Americans are entitled to equal protection under our laws.
7/9/18
I am very disappointed by today’s ruling in Husted v. APRI.
6/11/18
Earlier this week, at an election security forum hosted by Committee on House Administration member Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and special guest Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05), members of the public heard from election security experts and public officials about the safety of our election infrastructure headed into the 2018 midterm elections.
5/24/18
Americans deserve to have a government that works for them, one that is transparent and trustworthy, one that can be a force for good in their lives.
5/21/18
On Sunday, we mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the enactment of the National Voter Registration Act, of which I was proud to be an original cosponsor. 
5/18/18
Following their visit to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland yesterday, Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) and Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08), announced plans for a public forum on election security in Rockville, Maryland on May 22nd. Raskin serves on the Committee on House Administration, which oversees the EAC.
5/11/18
Wanted to be sure you saw this op-ed by Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) and Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) that will run in tomorrow's Baltimore Sun.
4/2/18
This report could not have come at a more important time.  With Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats’s testimony in the Senate yesterday that Russia intends to target the 2018 midterm elections, it is imperative that Congress take steps not only to identify vulnerabilities in voting systems but address them. 
2/14/18
This commission to suppress the vote should never have been created in the first place. It found no fraud because there had been no fraud, and it should not be revived by the Department of Homeland Security.
1/4/18

This past weekend, hackers gathered in Las Vegas with a simple mission: break into America’s electronic voting machines and take control.  Within minutes, some had already succeeded – but that’s a good thing. 

8/2/17

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. 

7/19/17

The Appropriations Committee’s proposal to terminate the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) is reckless and irresponsible. 

6/29/17

The struggle for voting access in America has been long and storied.  It is not a right assured to every citizen.

6/23/17

Thank you very much. Some years ago, when the Republicans were in charge of Congress, I sponsored the Help America Vote Act as a result of the challenge that we had in Florida, and the 5 people elected the President of the United States, making the determination.

6/22/17

If Russian operatives were successful in hacking into servers in thirty-nine states connected to voting systems and elections personnel, we ought to be very concerned about the security of future elections.

6/13/17

Today’s decision by the Supreme Court not to revisit last year’s case against North Carolina’s 2013 voting changes ought to send a signal to Republican-led states that adopting tough voter-ID requirement and limitations on early voting and same-day registration will be seen for what they are: discriminatory measures intended to limit minorities’ access to the ballot box.  

5/15/17

If the White House intends to create a commission to investigate voter suppression in this country, I hope its focus will be on the actual suppression of the voting rights of minorities, seniors, and students in states where Republican lawmakers have imposed barriers to ballot access since the terrible Shelby v. Holder Supreme Court ruling in 2013.

5/11/17

As a former Chairman of the Helsinki Commission, I was deeply saddened to learn of the killing of an American OSCE medic in eastern Ukraine from a mine placed by Russian-backed separatists. 

4/23/17

On National Voter Registration Day, it is important to remember that the right to register and vote was not always guaranteed or respected in our country.  

9/27/16

House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit struck down North Carolina's discriminatory voter identification requirement.

 

7/29/16

Yesterday, Speaker Paul Ryan had some alarming news for members of the Congressional Black Caucus – he supports legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act, but he isn’t willing to bring a bipartisan bill to the Floor. Apparently, he “can’t do that.”

From the Hill:

2/4/16

As we begin the new year and the Second Session of the 114th Congress, newly elected Speaker Paul Ryan has an opportunity to turn the page on the bitter partisanship of the past few years and show that he is willing to work across the aisle to get things done for the American people.  The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that “House Speaker Paul Ryan starting this month will push to turn the chamber into a platform for ambitious Republican policy ideas.”  But evidence points to the contrary, with the first items on the House’s agenda for 2016 being the sixty-second vote to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act, the eleventh vote to attack women’s health, and several bills that would undermine consumer safety, workplace safety, and environmental protections.  House Republican leaders know these bills will never become law, yet they continue to pander to the far right with political messaging bills instead of bringing substantive, bipartisan legislation to the Floor. It is also unfortunate that Speaker Ryan has already taken issues such as comprehensive immigration reform and an expansion of paid family and medical leave off of the table. 

1/8/16

As we begin the second session of the 114th Congress, there are a number of critical issues the American people expect to see Congress address.

1/5/16