Washington, D.C.—Today, Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) voted to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, a critical and timely piece of legislation to combat efforts to suppress the right to vote across the United States. The bill sets basic national standards for voter access and identification, ends partisan gerrymandering, and protects the integrity of our elections.

“Today, the House of Representatives began the process by which we restore the foundation of our democracy – the people’s right to vote,” said Congresswoman Ross. “Just this week, a three-judge panel in my state of North Carolina upheld extreme partisan gerrymandered congressional maps that threaten the integrity of our elections and suppress the voices of North Carolinian voters. Unfortunately, this deeply troubling development is not unique to North Carolina; we are seeing state-led assaults on voting rights across the nation. Today, by passing this essential legislation named after civil rights giant John Lewis, we are sending a clear message that these threats to our democracy will not stand. I am proud to have voted to protect and expand voting rights for all Americans. I am hopeful the Senate will recognize its duty to do the same.”

According to reports, 19 states passed 34 laws restricting voting access over the course of 2021, and 440 bills that threaten voting rights have been introduced across nearly all 50 states. Last year, North Carolina’s state legislature introduced troubling voter suppression bills, several of which will carry over to the 2022 legislative session for consideration. The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act will counter these efforts by strengthening early voting, Election Day voting, and absentee ballot access. Additionally, the legislation will prevent unlawful voter purges, provide protections for election officials and poll workers, combat dark money and election interference, and modernize voting systems. Notably, the bill also corrects the Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision, which wrongfully gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act preclearance requirement.

Congresswoman Ross is a cosponsor of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, included in today’s passed measure. She is also a cosponsor of the For the People Act, a voting rights bill that passed the House in March.