CAPAC Chair Statement on House Passage of John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

Aug 24, 2021 Issues: Civil Rights

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, introduced by Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-07). This bill protects voters from discrimination by restoring key protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) which were gutted by the Supreme Court in the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision and the 2021 Brnovich v. DNC decision.

CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), an original cosponsor of this legislation, issued the following statement:

“Today, I was proud to vote to restore and strengthen voting right protections that empower our federal government to fight against racist disenfranchising laws of the Jim Crow era and ensure that all Americans have a fair opportunity to cast their ballot. Last year, we saw Asian American and Pacific Islander voter turnout increase from less than 2.8 million in 2016 to around 4 million in 2020. This skyrocketing participation of AAPI voters means our community is increasingly becoming the key constituency across the nation.

“However, in the first five months of 2021 alone, nearly 400 voter restriction bills were introduced across 48 states. That is why voter suppression laws meant to make it harder to vote are such a threat to AAPIs and all communities of color. At a time when recent census data show that AAPIs are the fastest growing racial group in the country, H.R. 4 is an opportunity for Congress to uphold the sacred right to vote for all. I cast my vote today in loving memory of my friend and former colleague John Lewis, who was unwavering in his fight to protect the right to vote as a touchstone of our democracy. I urge our Senate colleagues to swiftly pass this bill so we can get it to the President’s desk and ensure every American’s voice is heard.”