Today,U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) released the following statement on the 7th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision:
“Seven years ago, the Supreme Court struck a blow to the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and opened the floodgates for state legislatures across the country to pass restrictive voting measures. Since 2013, we have seen the results of Shelby: more than 1,600 polling locations closed, millions purged from voter rolls and democracy denied for far too many Americans.
“The stark reality is that restrictive voting laws put in place by state legislatures across the country since the Shelby v. Holder decision demonstrate what we knew to be true before 1965: Americans need strong federal protections to ensure our nation lives up to the ideals upon which it was founded.
“From strict photo voter ID laws, to voter roll purges, and polling place closures in predominantly Black counties, since theShelby decision Alabama has implemented a host of laws and policies that make it more difficult for Alabamians to vote.
“This past December, the House passed H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act – a bill that I was proud to champion – to put the teeth back into the Voting Rights Act and guarantee fair voting practices for all Americans, regardless of race. Today, that bill is languishing in the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to even call it up for a vote.
“Democracy has never been free – it has been bought and paid for by those who marched, bled and died for the right to cast their free and fair ballot. The Senate must pass H.R. 4 to honor that legacy and ensure our democracy is truly reflective of the American people.”