DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Honorable Terri A. Sewell
Sent By: Terrel.Champion@mail.house.gov
Request for Cosponsor(s)

Current Co-Sponsors:

Alma Adams, Joyce Beatty, Donald Beyer, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Brendan Boyle, G.K. Butterfield, Cheri Bustos, Tony Cardenas, Andre Carson, Matt Cartwright, Kathy Castor, Judy Chu, Yvette Clarke, Steve Cohen, Gerald E. Connolly, Joe Crowley, Elijah Cummings, Susan Davis, Peter DeFazio, John Delaney, Suzan DelBene, Dwight Evans, Bill Foster, Gene Greeme, Denny Heck, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Jared Huffman, Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna, Dan Kildee, Derek Kilmer, Ron Kind, Rick Larsen, Brenda Lawrence, Barbara Lee, Nita Lowey, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Sean Patrick Maloney, Betty McCollum, Gregory Meeks, Gwen Moore, Seth Moulton, Jerrold Nadler, Beto O’Rourke, Frank Pallone, Bill Pascrell, Donald Payne, Mark Pocan, Mike Quigley, Jamie Raskin, Kathleen Rice, Cedric Richmond, Jacky Rosen, Tim Ryan, Jan Schakowsky, Bobby Scott, David Scott, Jose Serrano, Terri Sewell, Louise Slaughter, Jackie Speier, Norma Torres, Niki Tsongas, Marc Veasey, Peter Welch, John Yarmuth

Dear Colleague:

We are respectfully requesting that you co-sponsor The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2017. In the Shelby County decision, the Supreme Court gutted Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) by invalidating its jurisdictional coverage formula. We must protect the important progress made since the courageous Foot Soldiers of the Voting Rights Movement dared to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge more than 50 years ago. The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2017 takes an expansive and comprehensive view of the need to preserve access to the voting booth and will offer more protection to more people in more states.

Key provisions of the bill include:

  • Coverage for 13 states upon enactment: Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Arkansas, Arizona, California, New York and Virginia.
  • A new geographic coverage formula based on current conditions and a 25 year “look back” provision. The bill establishes a “rolling” nationwide trigger so that only states that have a recent record of racial discrimination in voting would be covered.
  • Allows federal courts to bail in states for preclearance.  Current law permits states or jurisdictions to be bailed in if an intentional violation can be shown.  The new legislation offers more protection by allowing a court to bail in states or jurisdictions whose voting practices have discriminatory results.
  • Greater transparency in federal elections to ensure that voters are made aware of late-breaking changes in voting procedures. The additional information will deter discrimination from occurring and protect voters.
  • Revises the standard for preliminary injunctions for voting rights court cases. This provision recognizes that when voting rights are at stake, stopping a discriminatory practice after the election has already concluded is too late to vindicate voters’ rights.

This bill helps to ensure that all Americans can fully participate in our political process. If you have any questions or would like to become a cosponsor of this bill please contact Terrel Champion at Terrel.Champion@mail.house.gov.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

TERRI A. SEWELL      MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM       JUDY CHU

Member of Congress     Member of Congress                           Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Civil Rights, Elections, Judiciary