Morelle announces House passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rep. Joe Morelle (D-NY 25) announced the House passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. This legislation is an effort to give voters more access to the ballot box and also combat voter suppression.

Morelle said the right to vote is the bedrock of our democracy and we cannot stand idly by as it is threatened in neighborhoods all across our nation.

Morelle made the announcement in front of the mural of late Representative John Lewis. If the act becomes a law, it would target jurisdictions that have a history of voter suppression. It will also increase transparency to encourage participation in elections and ensure that threats to racially discriminatory tactics are properly addressed.

Morelle also explained what this legislation means to New York, even after the state lost a congressional seat to Minnesota following the 2020 Census.

"If the right to vote is what matters here because no matter how many seats you have in congress for your state, if people don’t have the right to vote, and select the people they wish to represent them, all those other things will matter less. So it’s really helping to ensure that every single American gets to vote," Morelle said.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act still needs the full approval of Congress before becoming a law.