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Booker, Hirono, Tri-Caucus Chairs Introduce Bicameral Bill to Repeal Trump Voter Suppression Executive Order

Bill supported by more than 90 lawmakers, including every Democratic Senator of color

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Washington, July 12, 2017 | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) along with Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chairwoman Judy Chu (D-CA) today introduced the Anti-Voter Suppression Act, a bicameral bill that would repeal President Trump’s Executive Order establishing an “election integrity” commission to investigate widespread voter fraud.  The bill is supported by more than 90 members of Congress, including every Democratic Senator of color.

The Anti-Voter Suppression Act would also prohibit any federal funds from being used to support the creation of a commission to investigate voter fraud, which is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt at voter suppression that will disproportionately affect poor and minority communities. Facts show that a person is more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit in-person voter fraud. In a 2014 study, only 31 credible instances of in-person voter fraud were discovered out of more than one billion ballots cast between 2000 and 2014.

“The right to vote is among the most precious features of our American democracy,” said Senator Booker. “We will not go back to a time when millions of people – most of them poor and minorities – were silenced through disenfranchisement. Yet that is exactly what President Trump seems to want to do with this sham of a commission. And all to appease his enormous insecurity about the fact that he lost the popular vote by a sum of 2.9 million Americans. We will fight him every step of the way. Even one taxpayer dollar spent on this circus would be a waste of resources.”

“This commission is based on a lie, and is using taxpayer resources to perpetuate the falsehood of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 election,” said Senator Hirono. “In Hawaii, we have a word to describe this sham effort—shibai, or as it’s more widely known, B.S.”

“After the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, many states rushed to strip American citizens—the poor and working class, people of color and students—of the right to vote, the most fundamental right in our democracy and one for which many of our parents and grandparents fought and died. Now, President Trump is requesting invasive and unwarranted personal information from voters," said Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

“Attacks on voting rights by GOP legislators and President Trump’s so-called voter fraud commission cannot go unchecked. The Anti-Voter Suppression Act would repeal President Trump’s executive order establishing the commission and prohibit any funds from being used to investigate the non-issue of voter fraud. Congress needs to pass this legislation as well as other legislation introduced by CBC Members that would restore the Voting Rights Act and expand access to the ballot box.”

“President Trump’s commission was founded on baseless claims of widespread voter fraud that continue to go uncorroborated,” said Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “Despite this, the President continues to seek out reasons to make it more difficult for people to vote. These types of tactics have led to burdensome voter ID laws or the purging of voter registration rolls that disproportionately impact poor, elderly, disabled and Americans of color, and increase the amount of red tape and bureaucracy needed to exercise a fundamental Constitutional right. I call on Members to support this legislation and bring this commission to an end. “

“President Trump’s so-called ‘election integrity’ commission is nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to disenfranchise millions of American voters across the country,” said Rep. Judy Chu, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. “The right to vote is fundamental to the strength of our democracy, and the Trump Administration’s efforts to undermine this right is absolutely appalling and must be stopped.

“This is why I am proud to join my Tri-Caucus colleagues in introducing the Anti-Voter Suppression Act. Rather than spread false claims of voter fraud and promote voter suppression efforts, the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans should work with Democrats to restore the Voting Rights Act, and ensure that all Americans, including the growing Asian American and Pacific Islander electorate, can exercise their fundamental right to vote.”

“Free and fair elections make up the very foundation of our democracy, and we must do everything we can to protect voters’ personal information to ensure that it can never be used to interfere with one’s right to vote and participate in our democracy,” said Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ).  “Stopping voter discrimination laws that effectively disenfranchise poor and minority voters has become increasingly more difficult since the Supreme Court’s infamous decision in Shelby County v. Holder.  I will continue to stand up and fight to uphold our most basic democratic principles and everyone’s right to vote.”

“President Trump’s executive order to establish an ‘election integrity’ commission will ironically make it harder for Americans, particularly those from disadvantaged and minority communities, to exercise their right to vote,” said Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). “This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to distract the public from real issues facing the nation.”

“Instead of focusing on the serious threat to our democracy posed by known foreign attacks on our election infrastructure, this commission appears to be attempting to manufacture false evidence of massive voter fraud to justify voter suppression,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). “I can’t help but think back to 2005 when I was laying in my hospital bed looking at pictures of Iraqis – including women, Christian minorities and marginalized groups – with green thumbs who were so proud they could vote freely for the first time thanks to the sacrifice of American troops. Now, we have a Commander-in-Chief who is spearheading an effort to take away the rights of people to vote through an illegal action.”

The bill is also sponsored by the following members of Congress:

Senator Kamala Harris

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Senator Ed Markey

Senator Jack Reed

Senator Al Franken

Senator Dick Durbin

Senator Christopher Coons

Senator Sherrod Brown

Senator Tom Carper

Senator Patty Murray

Senator Bob Casey

Senator Maggie Hassan

Senator Jeanne Shaheen

Senator Chuck Schumer

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Senator Amy Klobuchar

Senator Chris Murphy

Senator Dianne Feinstein

Senator Ron Wyden

Senator Tom Udall

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Senator Richard Blumenthal

Senator Patrick Leahy

Senator Martin Heinrich

Senator Jeff Merkley

Senator Brian Schatz

Rep. John Conyers

Rep. John Lewis

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton

Rep. Maxine Waters

Rep. Sanford Bishop, Jr.

Rep.  James Clyburn

Rep. Alcee Hastings

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson

Rep. Bobby Rush

Rep. Bobby Scott

Rep. Bennie Thompson

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee

Rep. Elijah Cummings

Rep. Danny Davis

Rep. Gregory Meeks

Rep. Barbara Lee

Rep. William Lacy Clay, Jr.

Rep. David Scott

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II

Rep. Al Green

Rep. Yvette Clarke

Rep. Keith Ellison

Rep. Hank Johnson

Rep. Andre Carson

Rep. Marcia Fudge

Rep. Karen Bass

Rep. Terri Sewell

Rep. Frederica Wilson

Rep. Donald Payne, Jr.

Rep. Joyce Beatty

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries

Rep. Marc Veasey

Rep. Robin Kelly

Rep. Brenda Lawrence

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman

Rep. Dwight Evans

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester

Rep. Anthony Brown

Rep. Val Butler Demings

Rep. Al Lawson

Rep. A. Donald McEachin

Rep. Ted Lieu

Rep. Steve Cohen

Rep. Marcy Kaptur

Rep. Grace Meng

Rep. Frank Pallone

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa

Rep. Raul Grijalva

Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan

Rep. John Garamendi

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney

Rep. Don Beyer

Rep. Tim Ryan

Rep. Pramila Jayapal

Rep. Nydia Velazquez

Rep. Paul Tonko

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter

Rep. Jared Polis

Rep. Rick Larsen

Rep. John Sarbanes

Rep. Darren Soto

Rep. Nydia Velazquez

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