Today, former Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R. Wis.), ranking Judiciary Committee member John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., and a bipartisan contingent of lawmakers introduced H.R .3899, The Voting Rights Amendment Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-VT plans to file identical legislation in the Senate.
The following is a statement from Lorraine C. Miller, Interim President and CEO, NAACP:
The NAACP appreciates that the U.S. Congress has made a bipartisan effort to update the Voting Rights Act, however we have serious concerns about the ability of some provisions in this bill to protect ALL voters from discrimination at the polls.
As the nation's oldest and largest grassroots civil rights organization we have the responsibility to ensure that any proposed legislation is in the best interest of our members, our community and our country. Participation in our democracy should be unfettered and all votes should be properly counted. From the exceptions for voter ID laws to decreased preclearance coverage to increased reliance on costly litigation, there are essential revisions and amendments to this bill that must take place to ensure ALL voters have fair and equitable access to the ballot box.
The Association looks forward to an opportunity to participate in the hearings and all other aspects as the bill moves through the legislative process. Our 1200 units across the country will continue to monitor their districts for discriminatory practices that will help us build a record for a strong and effective law.