Two men speaking with hands to mouth

Congressman Lewis, AG Holder Demand Equality in Elections

According to some metrics, the 113th Congress has legislated with less frequency than any other and focused more on battling over contentious partisan issues. However, on July 16, there was a breakthrough. In the U.S. House of Representatives, Voter Registration Bill HRES 672 was referred to the House Committee on Rules and Administration. This resolution provides a push to H.R. 12, which was introduced in 2013 “to modernize voter registration, promote access to voting for individuals with disabilities, protect the ability of individuals to exercise the right to vote in elections for Federal office, and for other purposes.”

Representative John Lewis (D-GA) sponsored the resolution, which would “restore and protect the right to vote of all of our citizens in keeping with the spirit and the letter of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was undermined by the Shelby v. Holder decision.”

The day before Representative Lewis helped usher H.R. 12 along, Attorney General Eric Holder provided his own support for updated voting rights legislation. Attorney General Holder, speaking at Howard University to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, called on Congress to ensure unimpeded access to the polls for all Americans, regardless of race, color, or religious beliefs. Specifically, Attorney General Holder referred to voter identification laws as modern-day “barriers to the ballot box,” and intimated that his office, the Department of Justice, may soon enter the legal fight against voter ID laws.

U.S. Vote Foundation will continue to keep you up to date on H.R. 12, HRES 672, and the ongoing battle over voter ID laws.