U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff, a member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, joined Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and 47 colleagues in introducing the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021, landmark federal voting rights legislation that would restore key parts of the Voting Rights Act to protect the sacred right to vote.
The bill is named in honor of Sen. Ossoff’s mentor, the late Congressman John Lewis, who put his life on the line to secure voting rights for all Americans.
“Congressman Lewis put his life on the line to secure passage of the Voting Rights Act. This legislation, named in his honor, will restore the Voting Rights Act’s protections and protect ballot access for all American voters,” Sen. Ossoff said.
Sen. Ossoff will chair the second panel of a historic Senate Judiciary Committee hearing tomorrow afternoon on the urgent need to pass the legislation.
The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 would restore key protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that were gutted by the Supreme Court to prevent states with a history of discrimination — like Georgia — from enacting laws that discriminate against minority communities.
The historic legislation also includes Sen. Ossoff’s Election Worker and Polling Place Protection Act, which would help protect election workers and their families from threats of harm and safeguard election infrastructure, such as polling places.
The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 would:
- Restore and update the Voting Rights Act to require that states and localities with a history of problematic voting laws — like Georgia — obtain approval from the Justice Department before making changes to voting policies or practices.
- Establish new requirements for diverse states and localities to obtain approval from the Justice Department before making certain types of voting changes that have historically been used to discriminate against communities of color –– namely polling place closures, partisan redistricting, and more.
- Expand and strengthen protections for election workers, polling places, and other election infrastructure through Sen. Ossoff’s Election Worker and Polling Place Advancement Act.
- Empower the U.S. Attorney General and individuals to challenge state and local election laws that diminish voting access for voters of color, like Georgia’s SB 202.
Sen. Ossoff highlighted the urgent need to pass landmark voting rights protections that would prevent states like Georgia from undermining voting rights in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last month.
Click here to read the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021
Click here for a section-by-section of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021.