File #: 220019    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 1/20/2022 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 1/27/2022
Title: Calling on the U.S. Senate to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.
Sponsors: Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Green, Councilmember Bass, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Gilmore Richardson, Councilmember Gauthier, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Squilla, Councilmember Brooks, Councilmember Jones, Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez, Councilmember Domb, Council President Clarke
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 22001900, 2. Signature22001900
Calling on the U.S. Senate to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.

WHEREAS, The Pew Research Center found in a 2020 report that the United States lags most OECD nations in voter turnout; and

WHEREAS, This voter turnout gap is highly consequential for our representative democracy: non-voters are disproportionately young, low-income, and non-White; and

WHEREAS, The demographics of the voter turnout gap are not coincidental. They are, in large part, due to a longstanding, sustained campaign to restrict access to the ballot. That campaign has primarily been waged by Republicans and has primarily targeted the aforementioned demographics, all of which are politically marginalized and tend to favor Democratic candidates; and

WHEREAS, A landmark moment in this disenfranchisement campaign came in 2013, with the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in the case of Shelby County v. Holder. It eviscerated a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ("VRA") relating to pre-clearance of new voting laws in jurisdictions with a history of institutionalized racial discrimination in voting; and

WHEREAS, The impact of Shelby County vast and immediate. Within 24 hours of the ruling, Texas announced that it would implement a strict photo ID law. Mississippi, and Alabama began to enforce photo ID laws that were already enacted but had not been implemented due to the VRA's pre-clearance requirements. A number of state legislatures, such as North Carolina's, had omnibus voting restriction bills already drafted in anticipation of the ruling in Shelby County; and

WHEREAS, In a 2018 report on minority voting rights access, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights found hundreds of "harsh" and restrictive voting policies had been enacted in at least 23 states, including voter identification laws, voter roll purges, proof of citizenship measures, challenges to voter eligibility, reduce early voting, eliminate same-day voter registration...

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