Vermont Business Magazine Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Senate author and champion of the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 (S.561), praised the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the House version of this landmark legislation (H.R.4) to remedy the Supreme Court’s Shelby County decision that decimated the Voting Rights Act. Leahy urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to let the Senate vote on the bill so that it can be sent to the President’s desk. Leahy said the right to vote is “foundational to our democracy” and that the high court’s decision opened the floodgates to systematic efforts in many states to disenfranchise minority voters. “Our bill is a bulwark against voter suppression,” he said.
Leahy said: “The House has done its part. Now the Senate must do our part. Fifty-four years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, voter suppression should be left to the history books, yet it’s alive and well today. Batons and police dogs may have been replaced by closing polling places and purging voter rolls, but the goal remains the same: state-sponsored, systematic disenfranchisement of minority voters. Our bill is a check on these suppression schemes, empowering all of our citizens to participate in their democracy.”
Leahy continued: “It would be a travesty of justice, and a failure of democracy, to let this bill languish in Leader McConnell’s legislative graveyard. I urge him now to follow the House’s lead and allow a vote. The Voting Rights Act has always been a bipartisan achievement. Restoring and protecting the sacrosanct right to vote is not a partisan issue – it’s an American issue. History is watching. Let’s show the world that we don’t just preach democracy. We practice it.”
The full text of the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 (S.561) can be found here.
Senator Leahy’s introduction statement can be found here.
An outline of the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 (S.561) can be found here.
Source: Leahy 12.6.2019