U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) released the following statement today after President Obama announced he will sign an executive order creating a Presidential Commission on Election Administration. Earlier this year, Gillibrand teamed up once again with Civil Rights icon Rep. John Lewis and re-introduced the Senate companion of the Voter Empowerment Act authored by Rep. Lewis that would modernize our voter registration system. The Voter Empowerment Act would help ensure equal access to the ballot box for every eligible voter, reduce the long lines seen last election, and take steps to eliminate deceptive practices that deter voters from casting their ballots.
"I commend President Obama for taking executive action - a good first step forward. But Congress now needs to do its part and pass the Voter Empowerment Act. Voting is a sacred right that deserves stronger protections, not heavier burdens. Ensuring that every vote counts is a cornerstone of our democracy that should be embraced by both sides of the aisle.
"I look forward to continue working with a true American hero and Civil Rights leader Congressman John Lewis and other leaders to pass our legislation to ensure voting is easy and accessible, and every American's voice is heard. I thank President Obama for his commitment to working with us to achieve this moral imperative."