Today, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) voted to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA), which restores and protects the Voting Rights Act to prevent voter suppression and strengthen election transparency. The 2013 Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court decision nullified key enforcement provisions of the Voting Rights Act that prevented states from changing their voting laws without approval from the federal government if they had a history of voter suppression or other voting rights violations. The VRAA would require states and localities with a history of voting rights violations over the last 25 years to clear changes to their election laws with the Department of Justice before enacting them. Under the VRAA, voting rights violations could include voter registration roll purges, overly restrictive voter ID laws, consolidation of polling places, shortening early voting, or similar measures. Rep. Peters is a cosponsor of the bill.
“Throughout our history, Americans have fought and died to protect the right to vote. I serve with some of those heroes in Congress now. While our nation has made great strides to expand voting rights, we must continue to work to end injustices and prevent disenfranchisement at the ballot box once and for all. This bill protects one of our basic rights to self-government and I urge the Senate to work quickly to move this bill one step closer to enactment,” said Rep. Peters.
In March, Rep. Peters supported the passage of the For the People Act, legislation that also included voting rights protections. He has also cosponsored the Automatic Voter Registration Act, legislation that requires state motor vehicle registries to submit identifying information of individuals to the state's election official, and the Native American Voting Rights Act, which establishes the Native American Voting Rights Task Force grant program within the Department of Justice in order to make polling sites and early voting more accessible for tribes.