Washington, D.C. — After the House passed the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, sending the legislation on to the Senate, William Roberts, managing director for Democracy and Government Reform at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
Today, the House took a stand in favor of protecting the voting rights of all Americans when it passed the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. As the Senate prepares to debate this critically important legislation to help protect free and fair elections and combat pernicious anti-voter laws designed to restrict access to the ballot and subvert elections, every senator has a stark choice to make. Upcoming Senate votes will present the opportunity to save democracy or save an outmoded Senate rule with deep roots in the Jim Crow era—a rule that has been changed many times before. Senators’ actions ultimately will be judged by history. Congress has the power to beat back the shameful voter suppression and election sabotage laws that have been introduced and passed in states across the nation. It has the responsibility to answer the calls of millions of Americans to save democracy now. As former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall said, “This is your democracy. Make it.”
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