WASHINGTON – Just days before the 8th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Shelby v. Holder decision, the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus announced that Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) will serve as co-chair of the Caucus. Congresswoman Williams is a Congressional leader in the fight for voting rights and succeeds her friend, mentor and civil rights icon, Congressman John Lewis. The other co-Chairs of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus are: Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-07), Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), and Congressman Marc Veasey (TX-33).
The Congressional Voting Rights Caucus Co-Chairs also renewed their call for swift passage of critical pieces of federal legislation to restore voting rights, as 48 state legislatures have introduced 389 voter suppression bills. In an unprecedented assault on voting rights, 14 states have erected barriers to voting.
“The future of our democracy is at stake, as extremist politicians enact Jim Crow 2.0 voter suppression legislation across the country,” said Congresswoman Williams. “We might not be counting jelly beans in a jar, but these voter suppression laws sweeping the country are seeking the same results. I am confident that working with my fellow Congressional Voting Rights Caucus Co-Chairs, we will pass legislation to standardize our democracy. Your right to free and fair access to the ballot should not be dependent upon your zip code.”
“After the Supreme Court undermined the Voting Rights Act in 2013, we have seen many states enact voter suppression laws that would have previously been blocked,” said Congressman Scott. “We need to pass federal legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act and protect the bedrock principle of our democracy: one person, one vote.”
“I’m so pleased to welcome Rep. Nikema Williams as the newest co-chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus,” said Congresswoman Sewell. “I know that as a tireless advocate for the right to vote, she understands that it is our responsibility as elected officials to expand participation in the political system rather than undermining the will of the people.”
“As we near the anniversary of the Shelby County v. Holder decision, we are reminded that democracy is fragile,” continued Sewell. “Black men and women may not have to recite every Alabama county to register to vote, but modern-day barriers to voting are just as insidious and threaten the very core of who we are as a Nation. While extremist politicians ramp up their efforts to erect barriers to the ballot box, it is critical that we pass federal legislation restoring the right to vote. I’m proud to be leading the fight to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act which would do exactly that.”
“Nearly eight years ago today, the Supreme Court’s Shelby v. Holder decision gutted the Voting Rights Act and opened the floodgates for states to advance restrictive voter suppression laws. In 2021, states are continuing to seize on this ruling by passing Jim Crow-style laws to eviscerate fair access to the ballot box and undercut minority voting strength,” said Congressman Marc Veasey. “The continued assault on voting rights underscores the important work that this Caucus does. I am proud to welcome Rep. Williams as a co-chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus as we continue our fight to ensure that Americans from all walks of life are able to exercise one of their fundamental rights as U.S. citizens.”