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December 6, 2019

Rep. Pressley Votes to Protect the Sacred Right to the Ballot

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) voted to pass H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, critical legislation to restore the full strength of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA), following the disastrous Supreme Court Shelby v. Holder decision, which gutted the VRA’s ability to combat voter suppression and discrimination.  Since the Shelby v. Holder decision, at least 23 states have enacted voter suppression laws, including voter purges, strict ID requirements, poll closures and curtailing of early voting hours.    

Following the passage of the Voting Rights Advancement Act, Congresswoman Pressley released the following statement:

“Voter suppression and discrimination have no place in a just democracy – one truly for the people and by the people. Voting is one of the most sacred rights we are granted as citizens of this nation. Restoring and encouraging the right to the ballot for those of us who have historically been left out and left behind is the only way our government can provide fair representation. Our voices – all voices – deserve the right to be heard and honored at the ballot box, regardless of race, religion, party or socioeconomic status. Today, I am proud to cast a strident YES vote in favor of H.R. 4, The Voting Rights Advancement Act – critical legislation that rightfully returns the power to the people by restoring and strengthening the protections and enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. We were sent to Washington with a mandate – to restore Americans’ hope and faith in our democracy during these unprecedented and unruly times. And like the long line of civil rights giants who’ve come before us, we won’t stop fighting until we fully affirm the promise of voter equality for all.”

The Voting Rights Advancement Act develops a process to determine which states and localities with a recent history of voting rights violations over the last 25 years must preclear election changes with the Department of Justice. Congresswoman Pressley has been a longstanding champion for the voting rights of all Americans. In February, she introduced an amendment to H.R. 1, the For The People Act, to lower the federal voting age 18-years-old to 16-years-old. Last month, she introduced H. Res. 702, the People’s Justice Guarantee, which calls for restoring full voting rights to currently and formerly incarcerated individuals.

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