AAPD Celebrates the Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in the House

AAPD Celebrates the Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in the House

For Immediate Release: August 25, 2021
Contact: Rachita Singh, rsingh@aapd.com

 WASHINGTON, DC – The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) celebrates the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R.4) in the U.S. House of Representatives. This action represents the first step in making this critical piece of legislation law and preventing further state-level attacks on voting rights — attacks that target disabled people, people of color, and disabled people of color.

This year, many states have restricted voting rights and limited access to the polls, further undercutting the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and showing the desperate need for the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. In Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Iowa, Arizona, and elsewhere, state legislators and governors have enacted policies to restrict access to drop boxes, curbside voting, vote-by-mail options, and more. These laws attempt to diminish our political power and restrict our right to have a say in the policies, people, and decisions that govern and shape our lives.

The Voting Rights Act helped protect the voting rights of people with disabilities, people of color, and disabled people of color. Some of the Voting Rights Act’s key protections came from the requirement that states with a history of discrimination receive permission before changing voting laws. Since the U.S. Supreme Court struck the formula that determined which states fall into this category,  many states have enacted laws that restrict the right to vote. Even now, the Texas state legislature is trying to pass a sweeping anti-voting bill with restrictions on vote-by-mail, drive-thru voting, and more.

“As disabled people, we understand deeply how our well-being, our ability to work and live in our communities depends on the policies, people, and funding that our votes impact. Restricting our right to vote is tantamount to restricting our ability to self-direct our own lives,” said Maria Town, AAPD’s President and CEO. “Protecting our right to vote and advancing accessible voting methods could not be more important.”

AAPD urges the Senate to follow the House’s lead and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Our access and right to vote must be protected.***AAPD is a convener, connecter, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities. As one of the leading national cross-disability civil rights organizations, AAPD advocates for the full recognition of rights for the over 61 million Americans with disabilities. AAPD’s programs and initiatives have been effective in mobilizing the disability community through communications advocacy; cultivating and training new and emerging leaders with disabilities through leadership development programs; increasing the political participation of Americans with disabilities and elevating the power of the disability vote through the REV UP (Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power!) Campaign; and advancing disability inclusion in the workplace through the Disability Equality Index (DEI) — the nation’s leading corporate benchmarking tool for disability equality and inclusion. To learn more about AAPD, visit www.aapd.com.Copyright © 2020 American Association of People with Disabilities, All rights reserved.

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Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

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