Washington, D.C. – Committee on House Administration Chairperson Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) issued a statement today congratulating Subcommittee on Elections Chairman G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) on the Subcommittee’s series of five hearings examining the structural and administrative barriers to voting since the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder:
“Over the past several months, Chairman G. K. Butterfield has led the Subcommittee on Elections in a series of hearings to assess the status of voting rights and election administration across our country. Now, as my colleagues on the Subcommittee on Elections concluded their fifth hearing today, I want to congratulate them on the caliber of these proceedings and their findings. Throughout their review, the Subcommittee documented numerous restrictive laws that target and suppress the voice of countless Americans, especially Black, Native, Latino, and language-minority citizens.
“This hearing is especially timely as tomorrow marks the anniversary of the wrongly-decided Shelby County v. HolderSupreme Court ruling which struck down portions of the 2006 reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act and allowed states to enact discriminatory voting laws without Department of Justice oversight. In his 5-4 majority decision, Chief Justice John Roberts held that ‘Congress—if it is to divide the States—must identify those jurisdictions to be singled out on a basis that makes sense in light of current conditions.’
“Chairman Butterfield’s review of the state of voting rights in America will be integral to answering the Court’s challenge. Dozens of election administrators, litigators, voting rights experts, and advocates testified to the discriminatory tactics currently employed around the nation. The Subcommittee will now compile its findings in a report detailing contemporaneous evidence of voter suppression, which will provide the Congress with a factual basis to support a new formula to restore the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act.
“This week, as we honor those who marched, protested, agitated – and those who died – for the right to vote, the House is taking a fundamental step towards ensuring every American can access the ballot box, cast a ballot free from discrimination and suppression, and have a steadfast faith in our democratic process.”
To collect the evidence called for by the Supreme Court, the Subcommittee on Elections held five hearings to collect contemporaneous evidence of voter suppression. During its investigation, the Subcommittee collected wide-ranging testimony and evidence from 37 witnesses, which will form the basis of a report released by the Subcommittee this year. To date, the Subcommittee has found an array of tactics used to suppress the votes of targeted communities and barriers that impede the free exercise of the right to vote.
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