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Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Votes To Protect American Voters as House Passes the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act

  • 1.13 Freedom to Vote

Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher voted for H.R. 5746, theFreedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, urgently needed action to protect voters and to ensure that every eligible American can vote without obstruction.  The measure passed the House with a vote of 220-203, and the Senate will now take up the bill.

“Voting is the very foundation of our democracy,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher.  “The right of citizens to cast their ballots for whomever they choose is not and should not be a partisan issue.  We must ensure that all eligible American voters have the ability to cast their votes safely, securely, and without obstruction.  In Texas and across our country, we have seen an increasing assault on the ability to exercise this right and responsibility of citizenship.  I was glad to vote for H.R. 5746, the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act today to fulfill our responsibility to protect voters and their access to the ballot box and to full participation in our democratic system, and I hope that the Senate will pass it without delay.”

H.R. 5746, the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act protects voters from discrimination by restoring and strengthening the protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) the Supreme Court struck down in Shelby County v. Holder.  The Court invited Congress to update the formulas for protecting voters in states with a history of discrimination, and this bill does that.  The Freedom to Vote Act updates the formula for determining which states and localities are subject to federal oversight based on recent history of voter discrimination.  It also amends Section 2 of the VRA to eliminate the heightened standard for challenging voter discrimination that the Supreme Court adopted in Brnovich v. DNC. 

In addition, the Freedom to Vote Act will:

  • Election Day: Make Election Day a national holiday.
  • Voter Registration: Establish online and automatic voter registration and protect same-day voter registration.
  • Voting Access Protections: Improve poll and ballot access for disabled, military, and overseas voters by prohibiting states from restricting the ability to vote by mail.
  • Uniform Early Voting: Require all states to allow at least two weeks of early voting with accessible and uniform hours at polling places.
  • Non-Partisan Election Official Recruitment and Training: Provide recruitment and training for nonpartisan poll workers.
  • Non-Partisan Redistricting Reform: Prohibit partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts.
  • Voting System Security Protections: Authorize grants to states to secure election systems.

Full text of the bill can be found here.