For The Record

U.S. House Dems unveil new voting rights bill named for John Lewis

By: - August 17, 2021 6:50 pm

When Georgia Rep. John Lewis died a little over a year ago, mourners gathered a tall mural bearing his likeness near downtown Atlanta. Jill Nolin/Georgia Recorder

Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson, who is one of the original cosponsors of the measure, said the protections packed into the bill are needed to ensure every eligible voter in Georgia and across the country can have their voice heard.

“More than 55 years after the Voting Rights Act was enacted by Congress, access to the ballot box is under unprecedented threat,” the Lithonia Democrat said in a statement Tuesday. “After the Shelby County decision, we saw a disturbing and methodical increase in partisan voter suppression across America, disenfranchising the most vulnerable and underrepresented communities.”

“Our home state of Georgia consistently places barriers between citizens and the vote, and I have fought against one barrier after the next over the years in Georgia’s 7th district,” Bourdeaux said in a statement. “Voting is a right and a duty, but we can’t expect people to care, participate, and share their ideas for our nation’s future if we make voting inaccessible.”

Congresswoman Nikema Williams, an Atlanta Democrat, said the measure would “prevent states like Georgia that have a history of voter suppression from enacting new Jim-Crow-2.0 laws.”

“There are not two sides to this issue,” she said in a statement. “You are either on the side of our democracy or you aren’t, and I urge all my colleagues to support H.R. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.” 

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Ariana Figueroa
Ariana Figueroa

Ariana covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance.