Larsen-Veasey bill fights voter discrimination

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) and Marc Veasey (TX-33) today, Thursday, January 17, 2019 introduced the America Votes Act to allow voters arriving at polls without the identification required by their state to submit a sworn, written statement affirming their identity.

“Voter ID laws are discriminatory. Congress should be looking for ways to break down barriers in states so all people can fully participate in our democracy,” said Larsen. “The America Votes Act is a straightforward bill to fight voter identification laws that disenfranchise citizens and undermine our democracy. I modeled the legislation after the voting system in Washington state where voters can affirm their identity by submitting a similar written statement.”

“In 2019, voting should be easy,” said Congressman Veasey. “But getting a photo ID is far from simple; especially if you’re in one of the 34 states with voter ID laws and are Latino, African American, poor, or elderly. The wave of discriminatory and restrictive photo voter ID laws implemented after the Shelby decision purposely silenced thousands of American votes, including minority voters across Texas. I’m introducing The America Votes Act with Rep. Larsen because this is a critical first step to take on these unjust laws in the courts and through legislation.”

The America Votes Act would create new protections for voters arriving at polls, allowing them to affirm their identity by submitting a sworn, written statement, just like absentee voters, even if they do not have state-required identification required. Voters would then be allowed to submit a standard, not provisional, ballot. The legislation is modeled on the voting system in Washington state where voters can affirm their identity by submitting a similar written statement.

The America Votes Act is Congressman Larsen’s first piece of legislation introduced in the 116th Congress. The bill has the support of 55 other members of Congress and is included in H.R. 1, the For the People Act.

 

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