This year marks the 56th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — the landmark civil rights legislation that fundamentally changed voting rights in our country by outlawing discriminatory practices at the ballot box, like literacy tests, and provided special enforcement provisions for areas of the country where voter discrimination was prevalent.
And yet today, we are seeing history repeat itself as states across the country pass voter suppression laws that limit access to voting, impose harsher voter ID laws, reduce polling place availability, and make it difficult to cast absentee ballots.
The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act responds to current conditions in voting by restoring the full protections of the original, bipartisan Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was last reauthorized by Congress in 2006, but gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013. The bill does this by establishing a targeted process for reviewing voting changes in jurisdictions nationwide, focused on measures that have historically been used to discriminate against voters.
Together with the For the People Act, we need Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to ensure equal and unimpeded access to the ballot box for all Americans.