WASHINGTON – Today the House Financial Services Committee advanced the Voters on the Move Registration Act, legislation introduced by Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) and Representatives Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), John Sarbanes (MD-03), Marc Veasey (TX-33), Terri A. Sewell (AL-07), and Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03). Built off an amendment that Representative Williams successfully passed into H.R. 1: The For the People Act of 2021 back in March, this legislation will make it easier for people to register to vote as they change residences. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
“Moving to a new home shouldn’t be a barrier to voting,” said Congresswoman Williams. “Helping people register to vote as they prepare to move into their new homes is one of the simplest ways to strengthen our democracy. This commonsense legislation will give people the tools they need to exercise their voice in our representative government no matter their ZIP code – or the ZIP code they are moving to.”
The Voters on the Move Registration Act requires the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in coordination with the Election Assistance Commission, to design a uniform statement that would be included with certain leases and vouchers for federally assisted rental housing as well as with mortgage applications to inform recipients about their voting rights and how they can register to vote at their new address.
The Voters on the Move Act is supported by Common Cause, National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients), National Housing Law Project, and National Low Income Housing Coalition.
“All Americans, no matter their age, race, or zip code, deserve to have the freedom to vote,” said Aunna Dennis, executive director of Common Cause Georgia. “Especially as certain Republican state legislatures are creating barriers to voting, mostly targeting Black and Brown voters, we commend Congresswoman Williams and Senator Warnock for introducing this common-sense bill, the Voters on the Move Registration Act, to help ensure that all Americans can have their voices heard and votes counted.”
“The strength of our democracy depends, in part, on eliminating persistent voter disparities for low-income renters, who frequently face greater barriers to voting,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “One reason renters vote at lower rates than homeowners is because renters move more frequently, and they have to update their voter registration at each new address. This bill directly addresses this challenge, and it will make it easier for renters living in federally assisted housing to participate in elections.”