AG Garland Announces Significant Investments in DOJ Voting Rights Division

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a speech on voting rights delivered on Friday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the U.S. Department of Justice will double its staff dedicated to protecting voting rights over the next 30 days. He also promised that the DOJ would examine any new and existing voting laws that have passed state legislatures, including the 20+ suppression laws enacted so far in 2021, and provide new official guidance on early voting, mail voting and election audits.

In a speech that walked through the history of voting rights in the United States and the role the DOJ has played in defending access to the ballot, Garland appealed to Congress to pass S. 1 and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, to “provide the Department with the tools it needs [to protect voting rights].” He called upon the memory of the late Rep. John Lewis and his commitment to expanding and securing the franchise for all Americans, quoting his rallying call to close the speech: “Democracy is not a state, it is an act. And each generation must do its part.”

Watch the full speech here.