House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement after the Supreme Court struck down an Arizona law requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote:
"Today's ruling by the Supreme Court represents a victory for voters in Arizona and across the country who were under the very real threat of losing their right to register and cast a ballot because they lack certain forms of identification. By affirming that the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 supersedes Arizona's discriminatory proof of citizenship law, the highest court in our land makes it clear that states cannot impede voter registration by imposing burdensome, additional requirements for those Americans seeking to exercise their most basic right. Congress has a duty to make sure that every eligible American can register to vote, cast a ballot, and have his or her vote counted accurately -- without undue hardship or hindrance.
"I was proud to support the National Voter Registration -- or "Motor Voter' -- Act in 1993, just as I was proud to cosponsor the Help America Vote Act in 2002, which made our voting systems more fair, accurate, and accountable and created the Election Assistance Commission. The Supreme Court's ruling underscores the need for a fully functioning Election Assistance Commission -- not one that has been hamstrung as a result of Republicans' refusal to work with the White House to name and confirm commissioners.
"Congress also ought to update the way we protect voters by taking up the Voter Empowerment Act, which I introduced with Rep. John Lewis, a leader of the civil rights movement, and other Democrats. This bill would make polling places more accessible, reauthorize the Election Assistance Commission, modernize voter registration, and ban discriminatory practices meant to deter voters from registering or casting votes. Today's decision impacts all Americans, and I hope Congress can take steps quickly to follow with real legislative action that further protects American voters."