"As we mark the tenth anniversary of the enactment of the Help America Vote Act, which was signed into law on October 29, 2002, we must continue to ensure for a trustworthy and accessible voting process for the citizens of this nation. During this election, the voting process has come under attack. It is our duty as Members of Congress to make certain that the voting process is without blemish, especially after the election fiasco in Florida in 2000.
The Help America Vote Act is instrumental in making sure ballots are counted accurately, making it easier for military personnel to vote, and ensures that polling places are accessible to those with disabilities. It created the Election Assistance Commission, which helps states transition to modern voting machines. The Act enforced the use of provisional ballots for those whose eligibility is questioned and who would have been turned away. In addition, the Act included provisions such as creating a uniform, nationwide voter registration database to protect against fraud, and help military service members to vote while abroad. Even though this legislation has created positive changes to our voting system, we must take the next steps to protect voter access.
In May, civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) led House Democrats in introducing the Voter Empowerment Act, legislation that will further highlight the issue of a secure voting system. I firmly support this legislation because it makes sure all eligible voters can cast their ballots without the risk of being turned away. It bans unlawful purging of voter rolls, and cracks down on deceptive practices that discourage voters from turning out. The Voter Empowerment Act will ensure that the gains we have made as a Nation in the name of expanding voting rights for all Americans will remain intact. I urge the House leadership to bring the Voter Empowerment Act to the House Floor for a vote to guarantee voter security and to continue to push for stronger voting rights."