Congresswoman Susan Davis Fights for Voting Rights on Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

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Washington, DC, August 5, 2016 | comments

Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) continues to fight to protect voting rights as America recognized the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act to knock down barriers to voting.

“The Voting Rights Act was landmark legislation that increased access to the ballot box and renewed our commitment to the right to vote,” said Davis. “Yet more than fifty years later the struggle for voting rights continues. Some states are throwing up barriers to voting. It’s time we restore the scope and integrity of the Voting Rights Act and pass much-needed election reforms. The more people who participate the stronger our democracy will be.”

Davis is sponsoring and cosponsoring a number of bills to expand voting rights:

The Universal Right to Vote by Mail Act, introduced by Davis, would end restrictions many states impose on a person’s ability to vote absentee, such as requiring a doctor’s note, the details of a religious obligation, latest pregnancy status or details of a vacation destination. Currently, 21 states restrict an eligible voter’s ability to vote absentee.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Davis's bill would not cost the federal government any money.  The bill has twice passed the House Administration Committee, which has oversight of federal elections.

Davis is sponsoring the Federal Election Integrity Act to prohibit a chief election official of a state from serving on federal campaign committees or engaging in other political activity on behalf of federal candidates in any election over which the official has supervisory authority.

Recent elections have brought examples of leading state election officials with disturbing conflicts of interest.  In some of these cases, chief state election officials have held official positions on the campaign committees of federal candidates, such as state committee chair. 

Davis is also a cosponsor of legislation, the Voter Empowerment Act, to ensure equal access to the ballot and modernize our voter registration, which includes legislative language from Universal Right to Vote by Mail Act and the Federal Election Integrity Act.

The Voter Empowerment Act would:

  • Ensure online voter registration – San Diego County recently allowed online registration with successful results.
  • Allow same day registration.
  • Encourage young people to vote with access to voter registration at universities.
  • Ensure military and overseas Americans’ ballots are counted.

Finally, the Government By the People Act would return political speech and power back to the American people by establishing a small-donor campaign finance system that competes with today’s big-money politics.

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