Congressional Voting Rights Caucus Co-Chairs Lead Resolution to End Voter Suppression, Protect Integrity of Elections During COVID-19

June 18, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In advance of Juneteenth, Reps. Marc Veasey (TX-33), Terri Sewell (AL-07) and Bobby Scott (VA-03), co-chairs of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus (CVRC), led a resolution calling for the implementation of safeguards to protect the integrity of elections and end voter suppression—crucial protections that would prevent widespread voting system malfunctions and voter discrimination in advance of the upcoming primaries and general election.

Today’s resolution will commemorate the day that news of the abolition of slavery reached slaves in Galveston, Texas 155 years ago on June 19th by reaffirming Congress’ commitment to protect the constitutional right of African Americans and other minorities to vote. Specifically, the resolution aims to help minorities by including provisions that will support the implementation of transparent and inclusive election policies, the expansion of  vote-by-mail and postage-paid absentee ballot options, the prioritization of disbursing election assistance funding to states that are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and the creation of a national task force through the Election Assistance Commission that would prioritize promoting safe voting practices during this pandemic.

“Over the past few months, we have seen widespread and unacceptable flaws in our electoral system that have shamelessly denied minorities the opportunity to be heard and participate in elections across the nation,” Congressman Marc Veasey said. “On the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, we praise the progress we have made, but acknowledge there is still much more to be done in the fight to ensure African Americans have the same constitutional rights and liberties that everyone deserves. Now more than ever, we must continue our fight to end oppressive voting laws and increase access to the polls to ensure that all Americans have the right to make their voices heard at the ballot box in the upcoming primaries and the general election this November.”

“Juneteenth is Black Americans’ story of being ‘freed’ while still enslaved, not only for the two long years those slaves in Texas lived in bondage without knowing the Union prevailed, but for every year since that Black Americans have remained subjected to our nation’s commitment to equality in theory and systematic racism in reality. Voting rights are no different – Black Americans have faced obstacle after obstacle to practice their right to vote for the more than 100 years since we have been considered full citizens under the Constitution,” Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-03) said. “If our nation is to live up to its promise of justice and liberty for all, we must redouble our efforts to restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to its full strength, pass H.R. 4 into law and actively work to end every modern-day barrier to the ballot box.”

“I am proud to join my co-chairs of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus introducing a resolution commemorating Juneteenth and demanding fair elections. We must condemn and prevent discriminatory practices that discourage voter turnout in elections such as the closure of polling places, arbitrary voter ID laws, and purging voter rolls of eligible voters," Congressman BobbyScott (VA-03) said. "In the midst of this dangerous pandemic, Congress must work together to ensure access to the ballot box for all Americans by supporting vote by mail initiatives that make it easier to vote, not those designed to suppress the vote.  Together, we must protect the cornerstone of our democracy - the sacred right to vote.” 

The Congressional Voting Rights Caucus (CVRC) was founded in 2016 by Congressman Marc Veasey with the mission to educate the public on the current voter suppression tactics in place in their home states, districts, and counties, inform constituencies on their rights as voters, and to create and advance legislation that blocks current and future suppressive and discriminatory tactics that deny Americans their sacred right to vote. The CVRC has over 70 members, and is co-chairs by Reps. Marc Veasey, Terri Sewell, and Bobby Scott.