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Protecting Our Fundamental Right to Vote


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A federal court this week struck down a controversial Texas voter ID law, citing the bill's "strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor" and its expected impact on minority voters. While the court's decision is welcome news, similar laws have already been enacted all over the country, disproportionately affecting not only minorities, but elderly voters as well.

The right to vote is one of America's most honored protections, and it has been codified since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in 1965. While the tactics used to disenfranchise Americans have changed, our country unfortunately continues to witness attempts to curtail voter participation. Masked under the veil of preventing "voter fraud," many election law experts believe that these state voter identification laws could effectively prevent hundreds of thousands of Americans, particularly the elderly and less fortunate, from voting.

The right to vote is the foundation of our democracy, and that right must be protected. That is why I joined with my fellow House Democrats in introducing the Voter Empowerment Act this summer, which would modernize voter registration, ensure equal access to the ballot box for all Americans, and prohibit deceptive practices that keep people from exercising their constitutional right to vote. I encourage House Republicans to work with us, and bring the Voter Empowerment Act to the House Floor for a vote.


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