Now is the Time for Congress to Pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act
By DL White
Weeks later, Dr. King and his team, accompanied by the National Guard and journalist from across the country and around the world descended on Alabama for the return march.
The successful march heightened the call for a Voting Rights Bill. Congress passed the Voting Rights Act in 1965 and Johnson signed it into law. It was a landmark moment in American history.
Every (25) years the Act is renewed by both Houses of Congress and signed into law.
Prior to his death, Lewis was pushing (getting into good Trouble) calling on his colleagues in Congress to support passage of a permanent Voting Rights Bill.
“We have ‘acted’ long enough. Its time to make the Voting Rights Act permanent!”
Since his recent death, many in Congress are call for the Voting Rights Act to be renamed in Lewis honor.
The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act restores the protections lost in the Voting Rights Act by restoring critical weight in three areas:
1). Modernizing the Voting Rights formulas to clarify through strict examination which states and localities have a pattern of discrimination.
2). Ensuring that last-minute voting changes do not adversely affect voters by requiring officials to publicly announce all voting changes at least 180 days before an election.
3). And equally important, expanding the government’s authority to send federal observers to any jurisdiction where there may be a substantial risk of discrimination at the polls on Election Day or during an early voting period.
The Voting Rights Advancement Act was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) and in the Senate by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on February 26, 2019 (S. 561).
The bill was passed in the House by a vote of 228-187 on December 6, 2019.
On July 22, 2020, Sen. Leahy reintroduced the bill as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (S. 4263) to honor the late civil rights hero and voting rights champion.
Now is the time for the U.S. Senate and Mitch McConnell to properly honor John Lewis by passing (S.4263).
Contact your Congressional Representatives and urge them to pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights. Advancement Act.
If not now when?