Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn and Congressman George Miller, Ranking Member of the Education and Workforce Committee released the following joint statement today on the SIMPLE Voting Act, a bill to remedy widespread problems in last year's election by requiring states to establish 15 days for early voting, ensure that no voter is forced to wait more than one hour in line to vote, and provide the Department of Justice with greater authority to enforce this law and bring civil action against states and jurisdictions that fail to comply with its provisions:
"Today, we will join our fellow Members of the 113th Congress in taking an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. At the center of that pledge must be a firm commitment to protect and defend the most fundamental right in our democracy: the right to vote.
"With the support of Congressman John Lewis, our legislation opens the doors of America's polling places to all of America's voters. The bill offers ample opportunity for everyone to cast a ballot, extending early voting in states nationwide. It ensures that voters are no longer left to spend their Election Day waiting in line, and it offers the federal government more tools to ensure voter access to the polls. Further action is needed to guarantee that the right to vote is protected; but this measure marks a critical first step in the path to reform and offers an immediate remedy to some of the greatest challenges in our elections.
"The framers of the Constitution established a government determined and defined by the will of the people, shaped by the decisions of the voters, and sustained by free and fair elections. In this Congress, let us reaffirm these basic principles of self-government by enacting the SIMPLE Voting Act and ensuring every eligible voter can fully participate in our democracy."