U.S. House Passes John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. β€” On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the historic John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, H.R. 4. The landmark legislation includes a new formula for determining which states are subject to preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), which requires states with a history of discriminatory voting practices to get federal approval before passing new voting laws. The previous formula was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. H.R. 4 would revitalize one of the most powerful enforcement mechanisms of the VRA as conservatives continue to mount an all-out assault on voting rights in states across the country. All Democratic members of the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 4, while all Republicans stood opposed. 

β€œAny diminishment of the Voting Rights Act is a diminishment of our democracy. In America, the right to vote must never, ever be compromised,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during the floor debate of the bill.

Voting rights groups have been calling for the passage of H.R. 4 for months. Alongside the For the People Act, the legislation is part of a historic election reform effort by Democrats that would significantly expand ballot access, protect voters from suppression and revitalize our democracy. 

Read H.R. 4 here.

Read more about Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act here.