Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) yesterday joined veterans of the civil rights movement, voting rights advocates and leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives in sponsoring legislation to strengthen federal law on voting rights.
Over the past few years, new measures have been enacted in states across the country --including Virginia -- that would make it harder for millions of eligible voters to register or vote. Just six months from an historic election, Democratic lawmakers vowed they would not sit idly by as these unprecedented laws try to turn back the clock and erect barriers to voting for military, disabled, minority, young, elderly and low-income Americans.
"The right to vote is a fundamental right that determines the makeup and direction of our government." said Rep. Scott. "It is imperative that we ensure that every eligible voter is given the opportunity to vote, free from unnecessary barriers and schemes. The Voter Empowerment Act will ensure that the people can make their voices heard at the ballot box."
The Voter Empowerment Act (H.R. 5799) will modernize voter registration, ensure equal access to the ballot box for all Americans, and prohibit deceptive practices and voter fraud that discourage people from exercising their constitutional right to vote. The legislation contains three main sections: improving access to the ballot, protecting the integrity of voting systems, and ensuring accountability in elections. A summary of the Voter Empowerment Act can be accessed by clicking here and the text of the bill can be accessed by clicking here.
The Voter Empowerment Act is the product of collaboration between lawmakers, civil rights experts, and advocacy groups. Members of Congress are currently planning a series of events across the country to rally support from the American people to urge Congress to pass the Voter Empowerment Act.