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Larson Votes for Voting Rights Bill, Urges Senate to Vote

January 13, 2022
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) voted for the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act that passed the House today.  This historic piece of legislation will ensure every American has equal freedom to make their voices and vote heard in our democracy. Larson is the former Chairman of the Task Force on Election Reform, which laid the foundation for these bills. 

“The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy. Today’s vote in the House is a vital step forward to ensuring all Americans can access this right. Throughout the country, Republican legislatures have passed bills that would make it harder for Americans to vote. We cannot let this stand. That’s why the enactment of the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act is so important. Already the House has passed the For the People Act and twice we have passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. On Tuesday, President Biden called for a change in the Senate rules to bypass the filibuster and pass these bills. I have long advocated for the elimination of the filibuster. It’s a Senate rule with no Constitutional backing. It’s time we stop letting this rule block the will and voice of the American people,” said Larson.  

The House first passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Act in August 2021. The House previously passed HR 1, the For the People Act in March 2021 which included these provisions.  

Key provisions of the Freedom to Vote Act include: 

  • Expanding automatic voter registration and same-day registration; 
  • Strengthening vote by mail, early voting and ballot access; 
  • Establishing Election Day as a national holiday; 
  • Stopping partisan election subversion; 
  • Ending partisan gerrymandering; 
  • Promoting digital ad transparency; 
  • Forcing disclosure of dark money; and 
  • Establishing a self-sustaining democracy fund to support investments in state-led innovations around campaign finance, civic education and voting infrastructure. 

Key provisions in the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 include:  

  • A new formula to determine which states and political subdivisions must preclear changes to voting rules with the Department of Justice;  
  • Requirements for all jurisdictions nationwide to preclear certain proposed changes to voting rules, including:  
  • the imposition of stricter voter ID requirements,  
  • reductions in polling locations or hours,  
  • reductions in the availability of non-English language voting materials relative to materials in English,  
  • and changes to procedures regarding maintenance of voter registration lists;  
  • Clarification of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act to create tests for assessing vote denial and dilution claims, making it a more effective tool for challenging racially discriminatory laws;  
  • Giving the Department of Justice the ability to sue for constitutional violations;   
  • Requirements for reasonable public notice for voting changes;  
  • Allowing the Attorney General authority to send federal election observers anywhere in the country where there is a serious threat of racial discrimination in voting. 

For more information about the Freedom to Vote Act, see here. For more information about the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, see here