WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the anniversary of the enactment of the Help America Vote Act, which was signed into law on October 29, 2002:
“Twelve years ago today, the Help America Vote Act was signed into law, strengthening our voting systems and investing in new technologies to make our elections more secure, more accountable, and more accessible to voters. I was proud to author this bipartisan legislation, which passed with overwhelming support in both the House and Senate, in the aftermath of the disputed 2000 presidential election in Florida.
“The right to vote is the most fundamental right we have as Americans. Our votes not only guarantee our liberty but express our collective vision for our nation’s future. It is unfortunate that some states, led by Republican legislatures, have sought in recent years to limit access to the ballot through restrictive new laws that cut back on early voting, make it harder to register voters, and require forms of identification that many seniors, students, and minorities do not have.
“Additionally, the Supreme Court’s terrible decision last year that struck down a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act was a further blow to free and fair access to the ballot. That’s why I’ve co-sponsored the Voter Empowerment Act and the Voting Rights Amendment Act – two critical pieces of legislation to protect voters, expand access, and build on the successes of the Help America Vote Act. I hope Congress will take up the Voter Empowerment Act and Voting Rights Amendment Act when it returns to session so we can safeguard that right for generations to come.”