WASHINGTON, DC - On Wednesday, Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) released the following statement marking the 49th anniversary of the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act, which was signed into law on August 6, 1965. Esty urges Congress to pass several critical voting rights bills, including the Voting Rights Amendment Act, H.R.3899, which she cosponsored in response to last year’s Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder that gutted key anti-discrimination protections of the Voting Rights Act.
“Protecting the right to vote for all American citizens is fundamental to our democracy,” Esty said. “We need to continue in the tradition of the Voting Rights Act and remove burdens that impede voting rights. Unfortunately, recent Supreme Court decisions in Shelby County v. Holder and in Citizens United gutted critical voting protections and opened the floodgate for special interest money in our elections. Both decisions are harmful to our democracy. I support reforms that protect every American citizen’s constitutional right to vote without undue burdens and that prevent special interest money from drowning out the voices of voters.”
In response to the Shelby County v. Holder, Esty cosponsored the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendments Act, H.R. 3899, which updates the Voting Rights Act’s preclearance formula to reapply critical voting protections in Section 4 and Section 5 that the Supreme Court struck down. Esty is also a cosponsor of the Voter Empowerment Act, H.R. 12, a comprehensive voting rights bill that would increase the accessibility, integrity, and accountability of elections for American citizens.
Additionally, Esty is a coauthor of a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and is a cosponsor of the Government By the People Act, H.R. 20, to reduce the influence of special interest money in elections.