WASHINGTON, DC — Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) responds to the reintroduction of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in the House of Representatives on September 19, 2023.
APIAVote commends Representative Terri Sewell and all co-sponsors for reintroducing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (JLVRAA) this afternoon. We are eager to work with Congress to pass this vital piece of legislation that will bolster the historic Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 and ensure AAPIs and other historically marginalized communities will have the freedom to cast their ballots freely and safely for generations to come.
The JLVRAA would restore many of the powers originally in the Voting Rights Act of 1965, including the requirement that jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination get pre-approval – referred to as “preclearance” – of changes to their voting laws to ensure that those changes are not discriminatory. This legislation is needed to make sure current and future discriminatory voting laws do not pass and erode our democracy. This year alone, many state legislatures are passing restrictive voting laws at a near record pace.
“For too long, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been left out of the decision-making process that impacts our communities’ very livelihood. Just as our communities came out and voted in historic numbers during the last presidential election in 2020, we are seeing attempts to make it harder to vote all across the country,” said Christine Chen, Executive Director of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote. “Congress must pass the JLVRAA to guarantee no matter where in the country you live, you can be confident your freedom to vote will not be threatened by those who want to take our power away. Against the backdrop of National Voter Registration Day, we must continue to educate, register, and mobilize our communities to protect our democracy at the ballot box. However, our efforts are in vain without a federal backstop to protect our freedom to vote.”
About APIAVote: Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) is the nation’s leading nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to engaging, educating, and empowering Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities to strengthen and sustain a culture of civic engagement.See our website for more information at https://www.apiavote.org/